Miriam Margolyes criticised for saying she wanted Boris Johnson ‘to die’ from coronavirus

PUBLISHED: 16:14 09 May 2020 | UPDATED: 16:35 09 May 2020

Miriam Margolyes appears on The Last Leg with Adam Hills, Josh Widdicombe and Alex Brooker. Photograph: Channel 4.

Miriam Margolyes appears on The Last Leg with Adam Hills, Josh Widdicombe and Alex Brooker. Photograph: Channel 4.

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Actress and comedian Miriam Margolyes has been criticised for claiming she initially wanted to see the prime minister die from coronavirus after he tested positive for Covid-19.

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Miriam Margolyes appears on The Last Leg. Photograph: Channel 4.Miriam Margolyes appears on The Last Leg. Photograph: Channel 4.

The 78-year-old appeared on the new series of The Last Leg to give her thoughts on how the government had handled the coronavirus pandemic so far.

“Appallingly, of course, appallingly,” she said. “It’s a disgrace, it’s a scandal. It’s a public scandal.”

Turning her attention to the prime minister, she shocked the panel by saying: “I had difficulty not wanting Boris Johnson to die. I wanted him to die.”

But she added: “Then I thought that will reflect badly on me and I don’t want to be the sort of person that wants people to die.

“So then I wanted him to get better, which he did do, he did get better. But he didn’t get better as a human being. And I really would prefer that.

“So we’re in the shit, basically, here.”

The comments led to her name trending on Twitter with a mixture of response.

Piers Morgan, who recently claimed that Boris Johnson’s coronairus response makes Donald Trump look credible, said her comments were “disgusting”.


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He wrote: “This is where toxic tribalism has got us.. actively wanting people of a different political persuasion to die. Shame on you Ms Margoyles.”

Another tweeted: “I didn’t know Miriam Margolyes was so vile and appalling. Prof. Sprout would’ve never said anything like that. Shame on you!”

Others defended her remarks, including actor Laurence Fox, who was himself embroiled in a furore over comments made about Meghan Markle.

He posted: “Please don’t pile on #MiriamMargolyes. She’s funny, she shoots from the hip and she doesn’t give a shit. Good on her. We spent yesterday celebrating victory over authoritarian tyranny. She is free to speak. We all are.”

“If you’re someone who is more outraged at #MiriamMargolyes calling herself out on a fleeting thought about #BorisJohnson, than the fact that by his incompetence there are over 30,000 dead (including those who survived WW2), you need to have a word with your sense of perspective,” said @ThePoliticalDiva.

Mark Grimshaw tweeted: “A lot of right-wingers seem to have suddenly stopped caring about protecting freedom of speech now that #MiriamMargolyes has used hers to say she briefly wished Boris Johnson would die.”

“I think at least 31,241 families agree with Miriam Margolyes,” wrote Miki Fandango.

Last year Margolyes turned the air blue on Australian breakfast television by saying that Brexit was “bollocks” and that former prime minister David Cameron should be “boiled in oil”.

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