The actor Miriam Margolyes shocked listeners by saying “Fuck you, bastard” about the new chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, live on air on Saturday.
The 81-year-old British-Australian actor said she wanted to tell Jeremy Hunt “Fuck you, bastard” after his appearance on BBC Radio 4 just one day after he was announced as the replacement for Kwasi Kwarteng.
Speaking on the Today programme at the end of an interview about the death of Robbie Coltrane, she told presenters Martha Kearney and Justin Webb that she had greeted Hunt, who had been interviewed on Saturday morning’s programme before her.
“When I saw him [Hunt] there, I just said: ‘What a hell of a job, the best of luck.’
And what I really wanted to say was ‘Fuck you, bastard,’ but you can’t say that.”
Webb quickly apologised for the language, adding: “Oh, no, no, no, you mustn’t say that. No, you can’t say that! We’ll have to have you out of the studio now.”
“We will, with many apologies,” Kearney added.
The moment was shared widely on Twitter, including by Dino Sofos, the creator of the BBC’s Brexitcast, who described Margolyes’ comments as “possibly the greatest moment in the Today programme’s history”.
Margolyes has attracted controversy on a number of occasions throughout her career, including during a virtual appearance on Channel 4’s The Last Leg in 2020, after admitting she “had difficulty not wanting Boris Johnson to die” while the then prime minister was fighting Covid-19.
This is also not the first time broadcasters have had to scramble to avoid embarrassment when discussing Jeremy Hunt.
During a debate in 2019 over who should be the next Tory leader and prime minister, journalist Victoria Derbyshire added herself to a long list of presenters who have inadvertently referred to him as “Jeremy Cunt”.
Previous victims of the slip-up include BBC Radio 5 Live host Nicky Campbell, Sky News political correspondent Tom Rayner and BBC newsreader Carrie Gracie.
Former health secretary Hunt was making headlines on Saturday after conducting his first round of media interviews since he replaced Kwasi Kwarteng as chancellor.
Kwarteng had been in the post for just 38 days. This made him the second shortest-serving postwar chancellor after Iain Macleod, who died in office.
This morning, Hunt gave a series of interviews in which he indicated he will not be going with PM Liz Truss’s plan for Britain as presented by her first chancellor, Kwarteng.
Hunt has said he will meet with Treasury officials later on Saturday and with Truss on Sunday.
He admitted Truss made “mistakes” and said “difficult decisions” would need to be taken to calm markets and restore stability.