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11th Sep 2023

Miriam Margolyes says she regrets ‘lack of discipline’ as she issues health update

Steve Hopkins

‘I’ve limited my life because of my longing for fudge or chopped liver, cheesecake’

Miriam Margolyess has revealed she can no longer walk and will soon be in a wheelchair, as she continues to battle a painful medical condition.

The beloved actress, best known for her work as Professor Sprout in Harry Potter or her hilarious daytime television appearances, has spinal stenosis which affects the lower back and can impact mobility.

According to the NHS, spinal stenosis is a term used to describe a narrowing of the spinal canal. While the narrowing may not cause any symptoms, it may progress to cause squeezing (compression) of the spinal nerves. The condition can cause back pain and/or leg pain and most often occurs when people walk making them feel unsteady.

Margolyes, 82, spoke about her health struggles and regrets during a new interview on the How to Fail podcast and her re

The recent Vogue cover-star said: “The one thing I have not conquered and should have conquered is my weight.

“I am a blubber mass. I am fat. And to be fat and 82 is truly pathetic.”

Margolyes went on to speak about her dietary weaknesses, saying: “It’s such a defeat. A cream bun, a chocolate, or a helping of chopped liver is more important than your health and aesthetic presentation? ‘No, it isn’t more important’; it’s just greed, lack of discipline, all the things I’m embarrassed by in myself.

“It is a major failure, and because of that, I’ve got spinal stenosis. I can’t walk. I’m going to be in a wheelchair before I’m much older.

“I’ve limited my life because of my longing for fudge or chopped liver, cheesecake. All these absurdities. I shouldn’t have been so greedy; I should have been stronger.”

Margolyes continued: “I f*** everything up by greed, and I think it’s shameful.”

The podcast then took an odd turn when the star compared herself to Queen Camilla. “I mean, look at Camilla, our Queen; she’s a good-looking woman; she’s got her body in trim.

“I like her as a person… She’s splendid and she’s taken care of herself. It wasn’t joy; it was laziness; it was greed – and I regret it.”

Despite expressing her regrets and shame around her lifestyle choices, Margolyes said she had accepted who she is: “I would like to be better looking; I would like to have a flatter tummy, and a stronger back and longer legs. But f*** it, here I am.”

Margolyes posed for Vogue for its Pride issue in June, with one picture showing her topless.

The pensioner told the magazine she never felt “any shame” around her sexuality, and explained that “Gay people are very lucky, because we are not conventional.”

The actress came out as a lesbian in 1966 – at a time when homosexual acts between men were illegal – and lived through the HIV crisis of the 1980s, during which she lost 34 friends.

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

While Margolyes is out and proud, she told the magazine that she regretted telling her parents, as they never accepted her sexuality and it “hurt them and I don’t want to hurt people”.

Margolyes is a star of the screen and stage and has been successful on both sides of the Atlantic. She won the BAFTA Best Supporting Actress award in 1993 for The Age of Innocence, received Best Supporting Actress at the 1989 LA Critics Circle Awards for her role in Little Dorrit (1987) and a Sony Radio Award for Best Actress in 1993

Related links:

People are losing it over Miriam Margolyes’ Vogue cover debut age 82

Miriam Margolyes just said ‘f* you, b****’ live on Radio 4 about Jeremy Hunt

Miriam Margolyes claims Arnold Schwarzenegger ‘deliberately farted in her face’ during filming