Saturday 3 December 2016

Miriam Margolyes 'terribly upset' over Dickensian snub

Published 19/01/2016 | 00:11

Miriam Margolyes wanted a role in the TV series Dickensian
Miriam Margolyes wanted a role in the TV series Dickensian

Miriam Margolyes was "terribly upset" not to be cast as Mrs Gamp in BBC series Dickensian because she felt she had been born for the part.

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The actress, best-known for playing Professor Sprout in the Harry Potter movies, had her eye on the part of Sairey Gamp - a dissolute, drunken nurse from the Charles Dickens novel Martin Chuzzlewit.

She told the Radio Times: "I was terribly upset not to be in Dickensian, so I pretend to look down on it. The part I should have played, Mrs Gamp, is done brilliantly by Pauline Collins, but I entered this world for no other reason than to play that part.

"Maybe it's for the best, though. As Wilde says: 'When the gods wish to punish us, they answer our prayers'."

Margolyes, 74, can instead be seen in The Real Marigold Hotel, a travel series inspired by the Bafta-nominated film The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.

For the programme, she and seven other famous senior citizens travel to India, determined to investigate opportunities to retire there.

Although she decided not to move to India - citing the difficulty of walking along the crowded pavements - Margolyes did see some benefits.

She explained: " Old people have a much better time in India because they're respected.

"Here we can't bear them. But, tough, I demand it.

"I was waiting for a train at Waverley Station in Edinburgh. My knee was hurting so I asked a young man for his seat. He replied, 'There's one over there'. I said, 'Please', and when he refused I poured my water over him.

"He swore and another lady said, 'You assaulted him. I'm reporting you to the police'. She did. Nothing happened."

:: This week's Radio Times goes on sale on January 19.

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