Amanda Redman claims TV bosses have turned their backs on older actresses
The 59-year-old, best known for playing detective Sandra Pullman in New Tricks, claimed work had dried up because of her age.
In an interview with the Radio Times Redman said: “You don’t normally get such interesting characters for women my age, and that’s the truth.
"There really aren’t very many good roles for women in their 50s and 60s.
Amanda claims work had dried up because of her age
You don’t normally get such interesting characters for women my age, and that’s the truth
"When you get a bit older, once you get to the bonnet brigade, you’re fine, but the years in between are the worst.”
The mother-of-one, who currently stars as Dr Lydia Fonseca in The Good Karma Hospital, said she realised just how ageist British TV was when she was filming the medical drama in Sri Lanka.
Redman has been nominated for Bafta awards for her performances in At Home with the Braithwaites and Tommy Cooper: Not Like That, Like This.
She has also appeared in For Queen and Country, Sexy Beast and Mike Bassett: England Manager.
Amanda stars as Dr Lydia Fonseca in The Good Karma Hospital
She said: “In my downtime I’ve been catching up on The West Wing and House of Cards, both of which have brilliant roles for women my age, as do Nordic dramas – it seems it’s just us in the UK who don’t represent my age group on screen and I really don’t know why because 52 per cent of people watching television are women and there are so many interesting life experiences to explore as we get older – it doesn’t make any sense.
"But I’m very lucky. I made the decision a while ago not to do anything unless I really wanted to."
In 2009 the BBC found itself at the centre of an ageism row after Countryfile reporters Juliet Morris, Charlotte Smith and Miriam O’Reilly, all in their 40s or 50s, did not return for the new series yet 68-year-old John Craven remained.
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The latest issue of the Radio Times is out now [BBC]
And in 2015 Anne Robinson joked she was “the oldest woman on prime time not baking cakes” after wading into the row.
She said: “If Huw Edwards or Evan Davis had identical twin sisters they wouldn’t be reading the news or presenting Newsnight. I’m not saying they’re both ugly. It’s just a fact, particularly in light entertainment, that it’s all about pretty girls in the front row. But I’ve just never worked within those confines. I never got hired because I had beautiful breasts. I got hired because I could write and I could be funny.”
A recent poll revealed women over 50 make up just five per cent of on-screen presenters of all ages and both sexes.
The Good Karma Hospital is next broadcast on Sunday 9pm ITV.
The full interview can be seen in the latest issue of Radio Times, which is out now.