The Real Marigold On Tour


Skint Britain: Friends Without Benefits 


Stand by for World War III. The Russkies may have intercontinental ballistic missiles and Novichok nerve agents, but we’ve got Miriam Margolyes.

The 77-year-old ball of fire was exploring St Petersburg in The Real Marigold On Tour (BBC1) with a bunch of chums, and causing havoc at every step.

She began the day by munching on a raw onion for breakfast, but her antics soon became a lot more eye-watering.

At the bus-stop, she demanded to know the name of an inoffensive babushka or elderly grandmother. ‘Olga,’ said the lady.

Mim burst into a rendition of Olga Pulloffski, The Beautiful Spy, a saucy Thirties ballad, as she imitated a secret agent in mime. The Russians edged away from her nervously: whatever country you’re in, no one wants to sit nex t to the loonie on the bus.

With an extraordinary absence of self-awareness, Mim declared loudly that she hated conflict. Half an hour later, she was standing in a queue for train tickets when a middle-aged chap in a fur hat accidentally stepped in front of her.

Fury erupted. Mim’s eyes boggled as wide as a Cheshire Cat on steroids. ‘Be Careful!’ she screamed, advancing on the terrified queue-jumper. ‘I will not be bullied.’

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