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Lesbian actress Miriam Margolyes becomes Aussie citizen

In her citizenship ceremony, the acclaimed British actress blasted England for its class distinction and 'lack of energy'
British actress Miriam Margolyes slammed England in her Australian citizenship ceremony speech.

British lesbian actress Miriam Margolyes has blasted England in a speech after she became a binational Australian citizen.

One of Britain’s most respected actresses, perhaps most famous as Professor Sprout in the Harry Potter films, criticized her native home for its class distinction.

At a citizenship ceremony presided over by Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, she said: ‘I don’t like class distinction and there is far too much of that in England.

‘There’s an energy here – an optimism, a vitality. I think England doesn’t have that any more.

‘There’s an irony and not accepting bullshit and I love that, that straight-talking stuff.’

In Gillard’s speech, she told the audience: ‘This is your new country, and you’ll never want another. Welcome to citizenship. Welcome to Australia. Welcome home. ‘

Margolyes has divided her life between homes in London and Robertson, New South Wales, for years as her partner Heather is Australian.

Keeping her British citizenship, she said: ‘My partner of 44 years is Australian and she is the main reason for becoming Australian – because I want to be closer to her.

‘We met in 1968 in London when she was on a research trip to London. Being in Australia makes me happy, my partner is Australian and my home is in Australia and it’s ridiculous not to be Australian – it’s a logical step to take.

‘I think I should be described as bi – not bisexual because I’m not – I’m gay – but binational because I retain British nationality and I add to it being Australian, which is like having your cake and eating it.’

Born in Oxford, Margolyes won a BAFTA for best supporting actress for the 1993 Martin Scorsese film The Age of Innocence.

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