Celebrity

Miriam Margolyes & Alan Cumming’s Friendship Goes Way Back

The pair have joined forces on a new show that sees them road-trip around Scotland.

Alan Cumming And Miriam Margolyes pictures sitting on chairs in front of a scenic harbourside backdr...
Channel 4 / Miriam and Alan: Lost in Scotland

Miriam Margolyes and Alan Cumming have taken holidaying in the UK to a whole new level, renting out a motorhome in Scotland’s Highlands and inviting Channel 4 and their fans. Miriam and Alan: Lost in Scotland premiered on Channel 4 on Nov. 16 but how did the two acting icons meet? Their roots run deep in Scotland and the pair have been showbiz pals for decades.

Miriam and Alan: Lost in Scotland opened in Glasgow where Margolyes and Cumming revealed they both have shared family history. However, they can’t quite remember where they first met.

When asked how they know each other Cumming told Channel 4, “Well we can’t quite remember exactly! It must have been in the early nineties because I shot this film with Ian Holm about FR Leavis (The Last Romantics) and that was who Miriam was taught by at Cambridge. At some point around that time, I was with Ian and we chatted to you [Margolyes] about FR Leavis so that was probably the first time, but we’ve met a lot over the years at various backstage things.”

He continued: “We’re sort of like showbiz friends who meet over the years at various things and can’t quite place it. I shot that film in 1991 so it’s been a long time ago!”

However, the pair can pinpoint the exact moment the idea for Lost In Scotland was born. Margolyes revealed that it came to her during an appearance on The Graham Norton Show. The pair shared the sofa that night with Daniel Radcliffe, Sharon Horgan, and Craig David. They had undeniably chaotic chemistry and Cumming said, “I’d been talking to Blink Films (the production company behind the series) about doing something about Scotland. They suggested perhaps I did it with someone else, so I suggested Miriam as I thought we’d make a good oddball couple! And then they had the idea of the van and it all went from there.”

In the series, the pair visit Cumming’s mum and family home where he speaks openly about his childhood growing up with an abusive father. Margolyes also sees the neighbourhood where her grandparents settled after they left Belarus to escape persecution. It was the place that her father grew up. They also tick eating Haggis, meeting Gaelic singers, and scaling Glencoe off their Scottish bucket list.

Travelling with a friend can be a little tense at times but Margolyes revealed that they enjoyed in so much they’d happily do it again. “I felt like I was on holiday with a glorious companion. It was delightful and I would do it again in a shot,” she said. “We could go anywhere you’d like. Let’s go somewhere we don’t know – let’s go to Tallinn or somewhere like Kentucky.”