Former EastEnders star Michelle Collins says there are still not enough female-led TV shows and actresses struggle for parts as they get older.
Collins, 57, who famously played Cindy Beale in the BBC One soap, said it “seems to be all posh people on the telly” now.
The actress, who is trying her hand at life outdoors in Celebrity 5 Go Camping, told the Press Association: “It is tougher for women of a certain age. And so you have to broaden your horizons a little bit.
“Things are getting better but they need to change a lot. There still aren’t that many female-led shows.
“It’s getting those female writers or getting men to write for women because it’s women who watch telly.”
And she said: “I think the prejudice isn’t just gender. The prejudice is class in our society … It does make me laugh…. It seems to be all posh people on the telly.”
She said: “I did a series called Real Women years ago, which was hugely successful, with Pauline Quirke, Lesley Manville, Frances Barber and Gwyneth Strong.
“We have been trying to get a series done 18 years later, and they (commissioners) go, ‘We don’t really know. Do people really want to see five, 50-year-old women on telly?’ Well, I think they do.
“I think things are changing but I don’t think they are changing quickly enough.”
Collins said: “We have to get more people a chance… I’ve been in this industry since I was 18 and I have made a very good living out of my career.”
But, she added: “You have to be very proactive these days. You can’t sit at home and wait for the phone to ring.”
Collins said it was “fun doing something out of your comfort zone” by joining Bobby Davro, Cheryl Baker, Joe Swash and Stephen Bailey on Celebrity 5 Go Camping.
The five pack up their celebrity lifestyles to go camping on the Jurassic coast in the Channel 5 show.
But Collins added: “I wouldn’t want to camp for a month.”
Celebrity 5 Go Camping continues on Friday January 11 at 8pm on Channel 5.