Miriam Margolyes expresses regret over Matthew Perry question on Graham Norton Show

Miriam Margolyes has admitted to “regretting” a comment she made to Friends star Matthew Perry on The Graham Norton Show.

Actor Margolyes, whose credits include The Age of Innocence and Harry Potter and the Philospher’s Stone, appeared on Norton’s BBC chat show in 2020 alongside Perry, British actor Gemma Arterton and musician Jack Savoretti.

Perry, who was promoting a West End play at the time, was left squirming after an x-rated anecdote Margolyes shared. As the audience laughed, Perry, appearing visibily shocked, stated: “I honestly don’t think I’ve ever been more uncomfortable in my life.”

Also during the interview, Perry was surprised when Margolyes admitted she had never watched Friends as she once met co-creator Marta Kauffman, and thought she was “a monster”.

Margolyes has now reflected on the chat show episode in her new memoir, writing: “Matthew was expecting a bland conversation that stayed on the surface of things, but I was warming to my theme and immediately launched in, burrowing deeper.”

But one exchange that Margolyes said she looks back on with regret is asking Perry “if he was an alcoholic”.

She added: “On reflection, I really wish I hadn’t,” and said the episode “was one of the few times” she “didn’t quite ‘mesh’ with another guest” on a chat show.

Perry has been candid about his behind-the-scenes struggle with addiction during his time working on sitcom Friends.

The actor – who played Chandler Bing in all 10 seasons of the comedy series, which ran from 1994 to 2004 – said in his autobiography Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing, that fans of the show can tell whether he was drinking alcohol or taking drugs by “gauging” his weight and tracking his facial hair throughout the show.

Elsewhere in Margolyes’s memoir, the actor called out “horrid” Steve Martin, whom she worked with in the 1980s, and revealed she once flashed an “exhausted” Martin Scorsese.

Miriam Margolyes regrets Matthew Perry question on ‘The Graham Norton Show’ (Getty Images)
Miriam Margolyes regrets Matthew Perry question on ‘The Graham Norton Show’ (Getty Images)

Find the 11 biggest revelations from the book here. Oh Miriam: Stories from an Extraordinary Life is out now.

If you or someone you know is suffering from drug addiction, you can seek confidential help and support 24-7 from Frank, by calling 0300 123 6600, texting 82111, sending an email or visiting their website here.

In the US, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration can be reached at 1-800-662-HELP.