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Gillian Anderson jokes about Robert Peston mixing her up with defeated Tory

The TV talk show host mixed up Gillian Anderson with the departing Tory politician (Ian West/PA)
The TV talk show host mixed up Gillian Anderson with the departing Tory politician (Ian West/PA)

American actress Gillian Anderson joked that she “quit” being an MP following Robert Peston mistakenly saying that she lost her seat at the general election live on ITV.

The 55-year-old won a Golden Globe and Emmy for playing former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who retired as an MP before the 1992 General Election, in Netflix historical series The Crown.

Politics talk show host Peston was reflecting on Gillian Keegan, who was Education Secretary in former Prime Minister’s Rishi Sunak cabinet before the Labour landslide, as one of the Tory’s projected losses when he made the mistake.

Children with special educational needs support
Former education secretary Gillian Keegan (Danny Lawson/PA)

He said: “I mean, the other thing just to point out is … in terms of the other bad news for the Tory party, one of their best communicators, Gillian Anderson … been accepted both by the Tories and by the Lib Dems.”

His fellow ITV presenters quickly corrected him, saying: “Do you mean Gillian Keegan?”

Host Tom Bradby said: “Robert it’s only 2.20, you can’t go confusing them until at least four in the morning … she’s not going to complain to be clear about this.”

Peston said: “There are going to be lots of other amusing mistakes before morning … She’s gone. It hasn’t been formally announced. But the Lib Dems are claiming it, Tories are conceding privately.”

Following being alerted to the mix-up on X, formerly Twitter, Anderson wrote: “Fired?! I quit!”

Ms Keegan was beaten by Liberal Democrat candidate Jess Brown-Fuller in Chichester between 3am and 4am.

Anderson, who is best known for science fiction series The X Files and teen comedy Sex Education, recently played the journalist Emily Maitlis in Netflix film, Scoop.

On X, Peston also had to correct a post saying that former deputy prime minister Therese Coffey lost her Suffolk Coastal seat to the Greens when it went to Labour’s Jenny Riddell-Carpenter.