Miriam Margolyes isn’t a fan of ‘disgusting’ Surfers Paradise


miriam margolyes almost australian documentary queensland new south wales
Photo: ABC

Miriam Margolyes promises to tell it as she sees it in her new travel documentary, and she reckons there’s one place in Queensland she’s not keen to return to.

The Harry Potter actress became a grey nomad for a 10,000 kilometre, two-month journey across Australia exploring our national identity in ABC series Almost Australian.

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And she told TV Tonight of her trip, “There is a brutality there and a greed in Australia, which I don’t like.

“You know, the developers. Those horrible structures along the coast, that people should be ashamed of living in.

“Surfers Paradise, it’s disgusting. I think that actually shocked me because I don’t go there. It’s not my world and I don’t want to go there.”

Margolyes and her partner, retired Australian academic Heather Sutherland, have been together since 1967.

The couple split their time between the UK and the Southern Highlands of New South Wales.

Margolyes said travelling from her leafy surroundings to different parts of the country in a fully-equipped motor-home was eye-opening.

“We all live in our own little bubble and we rarely have the opportunity to get outside it, and that’s what I wanted to do,” she said.

“I did say to them ‘I want to see the things I don’t know.’ And I don’t know rural Australia.

“Australia is so much more complicated than I thought. We think we know what it’s like, but we don’t.

“It’s quite complicated. It’s layered. I do think I was right that it’s harsher than it was. Maybe that’s true in the world.

“There’s a there’s a harshness about it, which I didn’t expect. I think that politically it’s hardened up. But the world has.”

Miriam Margolyes became an Australian citizen in 2013

In 2013, on Australia Day, Miriam Margolyes became an Australian citizen at the age of 71. She described the occasion as “a day of supreme happiness and real joy.”

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Last month, Miriam said she was spending coronavirus lockdown apart from her partner.

While the couple often live apart, Margolyes said after the pandemic she believes they’ll “really will try to be together from now on.”

Her three-part series Almost Australian begins on Tuesday (May 19) on ABC.

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