Actress disses Dickie on TV

Entertainment reporter Richard Wilkins.
Entertainment reporter Richard Wilkins. AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts

RICHARD Wilkins couldn't hide his shock on Today this morning when guest Miriam Margolyes announced she'd never much cared for the veteran entertainment reporter, explaining that she 'likes him now.'

The British character actress and Harry Potter star, who divides her time between England and her partner's home country of Australia, made the confession in an interview with Wilkins and Today co-hosts Karl Stefanovic and Lisa Wilkinson.

What started as a compliment to Wilkins took a sharp turn.

"I like your voice, actually. I like you better now than I used to. I think you've ..."

Dickie quickly jumped in with a quip - "That's all we have time for!" - but Margolyes wasn't done.

"You've improved. You honestly have. You've improved. You mellowed and you're not just interested in you. You are interested in other people, and I like that."

"It's taken a while, but it is a work in progress," said Wilkins as his co-hosts cackled.

"We're all work in progress. Truly, I mean that: I like you now," said Margolyes.

"Well I always adored you, so there we go," said a rather bruised Wilkins.

The hosts probably thought they were steering into safer territory, asking Margolyes for her thoughts on Monday's Academy Awards Best Picture blunder. Instead, she gave them a rare uncensored swear word on breakfast TV.

"I just felt sorry for everybody. I thought it was embarrassing. That chap, that accountant fellow from PricewaterhouseCoopers and A******** ..." she said.

"Yes, the A in PwC is silent," Wilkinson shot back.

While she may have shocked Aussie breakfast television viewers, this morning's appearance was nothing compared to Margolyes' antics on British late night chat shows, where she's become an in-demand guest thanks to her hilarious - and usually filthy - demeanour.

Sat next to actor Dominic Cooper during an appearance on The Graham Norton Show, she confessed she had no clue who he was - when told he appeared in Mamma Mia, she was horrified.

"That was a dreadful film! Did you think that was a good film?" she asked him.

And her X-rated recollection about a schoolgirl attraction to Laurence Olivier left viewers gobsmacked - and fellow guest Matthew Perry announcing that hearing the story was "the worst moment of my life".

Topics:  culture general-seniors-news today show

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