Miriam Margolyes shocks Project host by telling him he's 'sort of brown', asking 'what are you?'

Former Harry Potter actress Miriam Margolyes caused a stir on The Project in Australia by asking host Waleed Aly "what are you?" during a discussion about a ceasefire in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict.

Margolyes, who is Jewish, called emphatically for a ceasefire, which got the support of the audience. Seconds later, however, they appeared stunned by her comments to Aly.

"Ceasefire now," she demanded. "Whether you're black or white, it doesn't matter."

She then turned to Aly and asked: "'What are you by the way? You're sort of brown!"

As Aly bowed his head, the audience reacted in shock at her line of questioning.

"This is a really interesting question actually," he replied. "I've thought about this a lot. I'm not joking about that... I'm Egyptian."  

"Oh really," replied Margolyes, before adding: "I like the Egyptian people. I'm on the side of the Palestinians," she said.

"I have to tell you that now. Being Jewish, we always have to say what we are. Are we for Israel or are we against Israel. I'm only for humanity."

It's not the first time Margolyes has been forthright - in a recent interview she criticised adult fans of the Harry Potter series and urged them to move on.

"It's a wonderful set of films. But it was 25 years ago. Grow up!" she said at the time.