Miriam Margolyes admits hitting her paralysed mother while caring for her: ‘I’m deeply ashamed’

Miriam Margolyes standing in front of a yellow van

Miriam Margolyes admitted to hitting her paralysed mother while opening up about the pressures of being a carer.

Margolyes made the admission during a special episode of BBC One’s Imagine.

Speaking to presenter Alan Yentob, the 80-year-old – who played Professor Pomona Sprout in the Harry Potter series – revealed a heartbreaking moment she had chosen to leave out of her autobiography, This Much is True.

“I didn’t mention something that I should have mentioned,” she said. “And that was that I hit my mother when she was paralysed.

“Anyone who’s been a carer will know how frustrating and difficult it is and I let that happen, I’m deeply ashamed of it.”

Margolyes’ mother passed away in 1974. Toward the end of her life, she suffered a life-changing stroke which left her paralysed.

Margolyes appeared to brim with emotion as she shared: “The thing that really gets to me is that my mother forgave me.

“I hit her when she was paralysed and she forgave me.”
In the programme, Miriam Margolyes spoke about her mother being the “centre of her life”, adding that “she was… hers”.

She appeared to smile as she opened up about their relationship, stating that she has always been a “mummy’s girl”.

Margolyes’ mother had her first stroke shortly after her daughter came out to her.

In her memoir, published in 2021, Margolyes said she believed her coming out “in some way caused it”.

“I had caused the person I loved most in the world a pain she could not bear,” she wrote.

“It was a horrendous time and I was very unhappy. I knew I couldn’t change what I was; I should not have told them.”
Decades on, she has realised it was likely “an accident waiting to happen” – but thinks it’s possible her coming out “exacerbated it”.

Miriam Margolyes: Up for Grabs is available to stream on BBC iPlayer now.