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Miriam Margolyes, 82, poses topless for Vogue’s Pride Month issue

Miriam Margolyes has starred in the Harry Potter franchise and Blackadder. Photograph: Tim Walker

Miriam Margolyes has said she “never had any shame about being gay” as she makes her British Vogue cover debut at the age of 82.

The award-winning actor, known for her foul mouth and lovable eccentricity, said gay people are “not conventional” and she “wouldn’t want to be straight for anything”.

Margolyes is known for a wide range of work in the TV and film industry, including roles in Blackadder, Babe and the Harry Potter franchise.

She features along with other “LGBTQ+ pioneers”, including Ncuti Gatwa and Emma D’Arcy, in the July edition of British Vogue.

In an accompanying interview, she discussed her sexuality and said she has always tried to “make people feel good about themselves”.

“It’s a strong position if you’re not afraid to be who you are,” she said.

“We’re all so insecure. People are frightened such a lot of the time and what I’ve always tried to do … (is) make people feel good about themselves.”

Miriam Margolyes on the cover of British Vogue’s July edition. Photograph: Vogue/Conde Nast

Margolyes came out as a lesbian in 1966, a time when homosexuality was illegal, and lived through the HIV crisis of the 1980s, during which she lost 34 friends. She has been with her partner, the academic Heather Sutherland, for 54 years.

“I never had any shame about being gay or anything really,” she told British Vogue. “I knew it wasn’t criminal because it was me. I couldn’t be criminal.”

She added: “I think gay people are very lucky, because we are not conventional, we are a group slightly apart. It gives us an edge.

“We’re good artists, we’re good musicians. And I like being gay. I wouldn’t want to be straight for anything.”

The full interview with Miriam Margolyes can be read online on British Vogue’s website.


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