Fellowes keen on older women roles
Julian Fellowes has said he likes to do his bit to increase the number of roles available to older women because he thinks they are vital to TV plots.
The Downton Abbey creator features stars such as Dame Maggie Smith and Penelope Wilton in his hit ITV drama and explained that there were good reasons for him turning to more mature actresses for key roles.
He said: "I like the fact we have older women characters and I always like to have some older women because I don't think enough is written for them in the industry.
"It's very tough being an actress because there are more actresses than actors and far fewer parts, so I do what I can in that particular struggle.
"But also an older woman has a viewpoint because her life has usually been a mixture of practicalities and ambitions. Men sometimes avoid practicalities almost their entire life, so if you want a more pragmatic viewpoint put forward, it usually sits more easily from a female character, so that's what I use them for. They're all very rooted."
Downton Abbey returns to ITV on September 21.