In the latest episode of ‘Postcards’, Greg Dickinson catches up with actor Miriam Margolyes who shares tales of Australia, her time on the Real Marigold Hotel and village life in Tuscany.
In each episode of ‘Postcards’, host Greg Dickinson talks to globe-trotting guests about three photographs from their travels. This week he catches up with actor and activist, Miriam Margolyes.
You may know Miriam for her BAFTA-winning role in Martin Scorcese’s The Age of Innocence, you may know her as Professor Sprout in the Harry Potter films. Or, indeed, your first introduction to Miriam may have been in her recent, hilarious podcast conversation with Louis Theroux.
While she’s best known as an actor and as a political activist – and she may well be the first person to have used the “F word” on TV, on University Challenge back in 1963 – Miriam has travel in her blood. She recently became a Australian citizen, she has a house in Tuscany, and as you’re going to here in today’s episode, has an archive of travel stories to tell.
Listen to the episode on the audio player above, or subscribe for free on Apple/Android, Spotify, Pocket Casts, or wherever you stream your podcasts. Here are Miriam’s images, below. You can also watch an uncut version of the conversation using the video player below.
“I was invited to go on a day on the sailing boat Endeavour, in Sydney Harbour. I can’t sail, but I love being in the sea, in the ocean. These are all strapping young Australians and it was rather exciting to be with them, and just to spend the day on the boat. That’s one of the things about Australia – it’s a very active place. People are physical, they are running, jumping, triathlonning. Every activity you can name. I do nothing, I’m the most physically inactive person I know.”
“I think this must have been towards the beginning of the trip because we look full of energy, whereas I think towards the end we got rather exhausted. It was so bloody hot, that’s something you ought to know when you go to India – you’re going to sweat, and you ought to take a bottle with you. I’m hopeless in the heat. I’m like a great sweating whale, it’s awful.
“I can’t tell you how wonderful India is. It’s glorious. All your senses are assailed, your eyes, your nose, your ears. It’s humanity rushing about in beauty. And I’m longing to go back, I really am. I’m longing for this bloody virus to be over so I can see India again.”
“A perfect morning in Tuscany? I wake up early, and I look at the sky. The sky is always very important to me when I’m travelling. You hear birdsong, and you look across a valley. There are little houses, and you can faintly hear the sheep bells. And then, you get up, you go out, you walk into the village. You order an espresso, grab a copy of the International Tribune, and talk to the other people who are there because it’s the social centre of the village.
“The air is sweet, and in the spring the poppies are out. If you happen to walk at night, along the path to the house, the fireflies are out – little glints of light.”
Watch the interview
You can stream a longer version of Greg's chat with Miriam, below, where she explains why she hates bartering, tells tales of beauty in the outer hebrides, and delves into why she's never been one to travel for sex.
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If you're enjoying the podcast, please give us a five-star rating and a review wherever you listen to your podcasts. Miriam's new show, 'Almost Australian', airs on BBC One at 9pm on July 24.