Miriam Margolyes faces backlash for saying she wanted Boris Johnson ‘to die’

Miriam Margolyes is facing a backlash after saying she wanted Boris Johnson "to die" from coronavirus.

The actress, 78, who was appearing on Channel 4's The Last Leg on Friday night, told the programme that the Government's handling of the pandemic has been a "disgrace" and a "public scandal".

She added that she "had difficulty not wanting Boris Johnson to die".

"I wanted him to die and then I thought that reflects badly on me and I don't want to be the sort of person who wants people to die," Margolyes added.

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Portrait of comic actors (L-R) Miriam Margolyes, Kenneth Williams and Lance Percival, photographed for Radio Times in connection with the BBC Radio series 'Oh, Get On With It!', 1976. First printed in Radio Times issue 2724, page 4, January 22nd 1976. (Photo by Radio Times/Getty Images)
THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JOHNNY CARSON -- Pictured: (l-r) Actress Miriam Margolyes, host Johnny Carson on November 10, 1989 -- (Photo by: Chris Haston/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images)
THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO -- Episode -- Pictured: (l-r) Actress Miriam Margolyes during an interview with host Jay Leno on September 1, 1992 -- Photo by: Chris Haston/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images.
Miriam Margolyes at The Talkies, the spoken word industry's annual award ceremony which celebrated it's fifth anniversary, and was held at The Landmark Hotel in central London. * 01/01/02 Miriam Margolyes who has been made an OBE (Officer of the British Empire) for services to drama in the New Year Honours List, published Monday December 31 2001. (Photo by Stefan Rousseau - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)
396124 03: (L-R) Model Sophie Dahl, Miriam Margolyes and Sian Phillips join the cast of the West End show ''The Vagina Monologues'' October 18, 2001 in London. (Photo by Anthony Harvey/Getty Images)
Photo of Terrence Rigby and Miriam Margolyes. The Importance of Being Earnest play setups at the Ahmanson Theatre starring Lynn Redgrave. January 16, 2006. (Photo by Ken Hively/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
Actress Miriam Margolyes interviewed on the BBC Breakfast show Monday 24th July 2006 (Photo by Jeff Overs/BBC News & Current Affairs via Getty Images)
LONDON- SEPTEMBER 10: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK TABLOID NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 48 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Edward Fox, Miriam Margoyles (C) and Joanna David attend the Sir John Betjeman Gala after party, at the Prince of Wales Theatre on September 10, 2006, in London, England. (Photo by Dave Benett/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 02: Actors Miriam Margolyes and Alan Rickman attend the UK Film premiere of Skin in aid of FilmAid International at Odeon Leicester Square on July 2, 2009 in London, England. (Photo by Tim Whitby/Getty Images)
Tom Hickey as Nagg and miriam Margolyes as Nell in Samuel Beckett's "Endgame" directed by Simon McBurney at the Duchess Theatre in London. (Photo by robbie jack/Corbis via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 27: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK TABLOID NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 48 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME. MANDATORY CREDIT PHOTO BY DAVE M. BENETT/GETTY IMAGES REQUIRED) Sir Ian McKellen and Miriam Margolyes attend the afterparty following the cast change of 'Waiting For Godot' at the Haymarket Hotel on January 27, 2010 in London, England. (Photo by Dave M. Benett/Getty Images)
LONDON - NOVEMBER 28: EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK TABLOID NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 48 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME. MANDATORY CREDIT PHOTO BY DAVE M. BENETT/GETTY IMAGES REQUIRED Miriam Margolyes and Simon Callow attends the London Evening Standard Theatre Awards ceremony at The Savoy Hotel on November 28, 2010 in London, England. (Photo by Dave M. Benett/Getty Images)
Guests (left to right) Stanley Tucci, Miriam Margolyes and Jimmy Carr appearing on the Graham Norton Show (TX date: Friday 4 March, 2235), at The London Studios in south London. (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)
Will.i.am. and Miriam Margolyes (right) during filming of The Graham Norton Show at the London Studios, London. (Photo by Ian West/PA Images via Getty Images)
Presenter Graham Norton with Lily Allen, Dominic Cooper and Miriam Margolyes during the filming of the Graham Norton Show at the London Studios, south London, to be aired on BBC One on Friday evening. (Photo by Ian West/PA Images via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 12: Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall shares a joke with Richard E Grant and Miriam Margolyes as she hosts the 30th Anniversary Garden Party for the National Osteoporosis Society in St James Palace on July 12, 2016 in London, England. Due to inclement weather the event was moved indoors. The Duchess of Cornwall has been connected with the charity for nearly 30 years. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 03: Miriam Margolyes (L) and Matthew Kelly attend the press night performance of "Pressure" at The Park Theatre on April 3, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)
Host Graham Norton with (seated left to right) Miriam Margolyes, Daniel Radcliffe, Alan Cumming, and Sharon Horgan during the filming for the Graham Norton Show at BBC Studioworks 6 Television Centre, Wood Lane, London, to be aired on BBC One on Friday evening. (Photo by Isabel Infantes/PA Images via Getty Images)
(left to right) , Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, Susannah Harker, President of Equity Maureen Beattie, Tony Robinson and Miriam Margolyes hand in petition to 10 Downing Street seeking support for the creative industries. PA Photo. Picture date: Friday March 6, 2020. In the letter, Equity are asking for protection of the BBC, a European visa for creative practitioners, greater emphasis on the arts in education and argues for increased funding for the arts in the forthcoming budget, with investment in the creative industries spread across the UK. Photo credit should read: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire (Photo by Stefan Rousseau/PA Images via Getty Images)
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"So then I wanted him to get better, which he did do.

"But he didn't get better as a human being and I really would prefer that."

Her comments were criticised by some on social media.

One user commented: "There are things that are off limits and not funny.

"Whilst I am not a fan of Boris, wishing another person dead is not funny on any level.

"I do like Miriam Margolyes and she is unpredictable, but some things are best left unsaid."

Another said that the actress has "let herself down badly with this comment and should offer a fulsome apology".

Meanwhile, others praised the "honesty" of her remarks.

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