Ofcom receives 241 complaints about Miriam Margolyes's Boris Johnson comments

Danny Thompson
Contributor

Miriam Margolyes sparked more than 240 complaints after saying she wanted Boris Johnson “to die” from coronavirus while appearing on The Last Leg.

The Harry Potter star took part in the live Channel 4 show via video-call on Friday night (8 May).

Margolyes was discussing the government’s handling of the pandemic with host Adam Hills and stars Josh Widdicombe and Alex Brooker when she made the comments.

Read more: Miriam Margolyes admits wanting Boris Johnson 'to die' during coronavirus battle

Her appearance and comments on the show have resulted in 241 complaints to broadcasting watchdog Ofcom.

An Ofcom spokeswoman told the PA news agency: “We are assessing the complaints against our broadcasting rules, but are yet to decide whether or not to investigate.”

Margolyes told the show she “had difficulty not wanting Boris Johnson to die”.

Boris Johnson takes part in Clap For Carers in Downing Street. (Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)

She added: “I wanted him to die and then I thought that reflects badly on me and I don’t want to be the sort of person who wants people to die.

“So then I wanted him to get better, which he did do.

“But he didn’t get better as a human being and I really would prefer that.”

A Channel 4 spokeswoman said: “The programme is live and unexpected comments can happen.

Actress Miriam Margolyes interviewed on the BBC Breakfast in 2006. (Jeff Overs/BBC News & Current Affairs via Getty Images)

“In this instance Miriam went on to say that she wanted him to get better.”

Her comments lead to her trending on Twitter, and while some praised the star for her honesty, others were shocked at what she said.

Actor Laurence Fox said of her: “She’s funny, she shoots from the hip and she doesn’t give a s***.

Read more: Miriam Margolyes brands UK government 'utterly deplorable'

“Good on her. We spent yesterday celebrating victory over authoritarian tyranny.

“She is free to speak. We all are.”

Meanwhile The Sun’s Dan Wooton wasn’t impressed. He said: “Shame on Miriam Margolyes. Sick and disgusting wishing death on the Prime Minister.

“And do any of Channel 4's left-wing presenters step in?”