Actress Julie Graham has said that streaming services are better at casting a diverse range of actors in TV programmes than the traditional broadcasters.
The Scottish actress, known for appearing in numerous TV shows including Benidorm and The Bletchley Circle, stars in the upcoming female-led whodunnit series Queens Of Mystery.
Graham, 54, told the PA news agency that streaming services do a better job of reflecting society in their programming.
“We need to knock down all those walls of those kind of terrible tropes where it has to be a man of a certain age in the lead and everyone kind of fills in the gaps,” she said.
She added that while some channels have to answer to advertisers as well as viewers, this is not the case for streaming services.
“They don’t have to answer to advertisers, all they have to do is answer to their subscribers and if the subscribers don’t like it they will turn off, but they don’t seem to be turning off,” she said.
Graham added: “If you keep casting middle-aged white men in everything on the television then everyone’s going to turn off in their droves.
“I wouldn’t pay to see that.
“It doesn’t reflect society, it doesn’t reflect who we are any more.”
She added: “There’s still a huge lack of roles for women over 45 and there’s still a disparity between the amount of actors on the screen and the amount of actresses on the screen.
Graham added that Queens Of Mystery “can prove that audiences do want to see women in lead roles and also they do want to see women over a certain age”.
She said that actresses normally experience a “plateau” in their careers between the ages of around 45 and 55, adding: “The parts dry up and then when you get towards 66 they start coming back again because you get cast as somebody’s bloody granny or they need old people in the show.”
Graham plays Cat Stone in the series, which also includes actors including Omid Djalili, Frances Barber, Julian Unthank, Siobhan Redmond, Sarah Woodward and Olivia Vinall.
Queens Of Mystery will be available on Acorn TV, which launches in the UK on Wednesday.