23/06/2012 07:58 BST | Updated 23/08/2012 06:12 BST

Miriam Margolyes Tells Will.i.am: 'Lovely To Meet You... Because You're Black'

Ok, so it all got a bit weird last night on Graham Norton's show - again.

A week after the cheeky host had to work his magic charms on a ruffled Russell Brand for bringing up the subject of his ex Katy Perry, Norton had to effect a diplomatic miracle after guest actress Miriam Margolyes made some strange remarks that left EVEN Will.i.am speechless.

It went something like this...

Miriam to Will: "I'm just fascinated by you. Unfortunately I don't know many black people.

"We don't get to meet across the colour line much except in showbusiness and that's what's so nice."

Will: Silence.

Alert, alert, Norton leaps into action, like a Ferrero Rocher ambassador...

"It's lovely, Miriam, you're right."

But there's more...

Miriam to Will: "I don't know much about rappers, you're the first one I've actually talked to. I was in the musical Wicked and I met a lot of black people and I liked them a lot."

Finally, Will: "And I'm a black guy. I'm the first rapper and black guy you've kicked it with."

And, later... Miriam, while telling a childhood story, turns to Will: "Have you heard of Jews?"

I guess there's nothing like comfortable Friday night chatshow telly...


Will.i.am encounters Miriam Margolyes and, unusually for him, is left speechless...

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