The Graham Norton Show: Imelda Staunton teaches a Harry Potter themed lesson on social distancing

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Hollie Richardson
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Harry potter lesson

Imelda Staunton appeared on The Graham Norton Show and revealed how her Harry Potter character, Dolores Umbridge, first taught the world about social distancing. 

There are many life lessons to be taken from Harry Potter. True friendship will get your through the hard times, bravery comes in many forms, good eventually conquers evil, polyjuice potion will always land you in a sticky situation… 

And it turns out that the wizarding world also taught us a vital lesson about social distancing before it even became a thing in the muggle world. 

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Imelda Staunton, who of course plays Dolores Umbridge in Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire, joined Graham Norton on his talk show on Friday (1 May).

Norton pointed out that fans have made a link between Umbridge’s time as headteacher at Hogwarts and the current social distancing rules. 

Her painfully relatable educational decrees included:

- Boys and girls are not permitted to be within 8 inches of each other.

- All Quidditch matches are hereby cancelled. Broomsticks will be turned in to the High Inquisitor for safe keeping.

- All students will be co-operative and forthcoming with information regarding suspicious behaviour or outlawed activities.

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“On Twitter, there are lots of these tweets,” Norton laughs to Staunton, before reading out an example.

“‘If we followed Dolores Umbridge’s proclamations none of us would get coronavirus.’ Did she bring in social distancing? Did she invent it?” he asks.

“Yes, absolutely she did”, Staunton replies, “and all for the better, I feel.”

Watch Imelda Staunton on The Graham Norton Show

He then reads out more tweets: “‘Coronavirus is the Dolores Umbridge of the world right now’ and ‘if coronavirus had a name it would be Dolores Umbridge.’”

Staunton goes on to say that fans are too scared to come near her anyway, pandemic or not, because of her mean, insufferable character.

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Louis Theroux, Mabel and Jeff Goldblum also joined Norton on his show, but of course did it virtually. You can catch up with the whole episode on iPlayer now.

And remember to follow Umbridge’s rules, at least for the foreseeable future, while we work to beat coronavirus.

Images: Warner Brothers