Miriam Margolyes: 'My confession killed my mother'

The actress Miriam Margolyes, who began her career making soft-porn audio tapes, reveals today that she believes coming out as a lesbian killed her mother.

"I really came to terms with things in 1967," she tells Kirsty Young on Radio 4's Desert Island Discs. "I was in my late twenties. When I told my mother that I had had an affair with a woman, she had a stroke about three days later. I was very shocked by what happened, which started the long period of her terrible illness and the blackest time of my life.

"I realised that telling people things that they can't deal with is an indulgence," she added. "It caused the person I loved most in the world a pain she could not bear. And I have to take the responsibility for that. I should have been aware that that was something I could not say."

She adds that a further result of her confession was her mother didn't live to see her success, which included her role as Queen Victoria in Blackadder. "That is so sad. It hurts me," she said.

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