Frances Barber laments lack of older women on TV

Frances Barber laments lack of older women on TV
Frances Barber laments lack of older women on TV (Image credit: UK Press/Press Association Image)

Frances Barber has lamented the disappearance of older women's faces from the screen, but revealed that she is saving up for a facelift. The Silk star, 54, said that she could never imagine Strictly Come Dancing being presented by a woman who was the same age as 84-year-old Sir Bruce Forsyth. She told the Radio Times that 'it saddens' her that 'we will never see on camera faces like Bette Davis's any more', adding: "There was a proper life story there, but none of the young actresses now will ever let themselves look like that." Barber called the controversy over Mary Beard's TV appearance 'insane', after the historian was branded too unattractive for television. She told the magazine: "I don't care about getting older. I really don't. I'm 54, I feel 26 and I act 12." But she added: "I'd be a hypocrite if I said I'd never get a facelift - I'm saving up for one - but it'll be tiny adjustments - the kind of thing that just makes you look less tired." Barber, who plays a seductive QC in BBC1 courtroom drama Silk, said she did not agree with bringing TV cameras into courtrooms. "If there's a camera there, of course you're going to play to it", she said. The actress, whose new movie May I Kill U? is set against a backdrop of the London riots, said: "I was so angry because all the politicians were away. "Theresa May, David Cameron, Boris Johnson - they were all on holiday... If I'm in a West End play and the leading man is on holiday, I don't go away at the same time. London was burning and no one was in charge."

Patrick McLennan

Patrick McLennan is a London-based journalist and documentary maker who has worked as a writer, sub-editor, digital editor and TV producer in the UK and New Zealand. His CV includes spells as a news producer at the BBC and TVNZ, as well as web editor for Time Inc UK. He has produced TV news and entertainment features on personalities as diverse as Nick Cave, Tom Hardy, Clive James, Jodie Marsh and Kevin Bacon and he co-produced and directed The Ponds, which has screened in UK cinemas, BBC Four and is currently available on Netflix. 

An entertainment writer with a diverse taste in TV and film, he lists Seinfeld, The Sopranos, The Chase, The Thick of It and Detectorists among his favourite shows, but steers well clear of most sci-fi.