Amanda Redman bemoans lack of middle-aged roles for women
Amanda Redman has criticised the UK's lack of "interesting" TV roles for middle-aged women and said she does not understand why her age group is not being represented on screen.
The actress, 59, said other countries are better at championing stronger roles for women in her age range, although she has expressed her joy at taking on the "stunning part" of Doctor Lydia Fonseca in new TV series The Good Karma Hospital.
She told the Radio Times: "Lydia is a stunning part - she's witty, passionate, strong, she has compassion but doesn't put up with any s*** - she's everything I admire in women.
"And probably the closest to me that I've ever played.
"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. When you get a bit older, once you get to the bonnet brigade, you're fine, but the years in between are the worst."
Redman said she is confused as to the lack of strong characters for women because over half of the British TV-viewing public is female, and that watching TV shows while in Sri Lanka - where her new programme is set - opened her eyes to the discrepancy between countries.
She said: "In my downtime here, 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% 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."
"Sorry, I'll get off my soapbox now!"
Redman, best known for starring in New Tricks, said she is "lucky" to have landed the role in The Good Karma Hospital, because she never has to take a job unless she wants it.
The actress plays the eccentric Doctor Lydia in the medical drama series, opposite Game Of Thrones star Amrita Acharia as optimistic junior doctor Ruby Walker who is searching for a new job on the idyllic island nation just south of India.
The Good Karma Hospital starts on ITV on Sunday February 5 at 9pm.
:: This week's Radio Times is on sale today