The naked truth: Gillian Taylforth, Beverley Callard, Sherrie Hewson and Andrea Mclean bare all for Best magazine’s Body Image issue
Some of British TV’s most familiar female faces have dared to bare to prove that no matter how old they are, they should not be subjected to ageism.
Loose Women Sherrie Hewson and Andrea McLean posed naked alongside Coronation Street’s Beverley Callard and EastEnders actress Gillian Taylforth for Best magazine’s Body Image issue.
The ladies spoke of the way that women, despite their talent, can be denied roles on camera simply because producers believe them to be too old.
And they proved that there was nothing old about their bodies with the daring photo shoot.
Gillian, 56, said she has found it increasingly harder to get work in television the older she gets.
She told the magazine: ‘In TV, it’s OK for men to be 50 or 60, but for women it’s very difficult. Older actresses can feel put by the wayside.
‘I left The Bill three years ago, and since then TV work has been harder to come by – it probably started in my late 40s.’
And Beverley, 54, agreed that the pressure has prevented her from enjoying getting older.
Loose ladies: Loose Women Andrea McLean, left, and Sherrie Hewson posed naked for Best Magazine
Soap stars: Former EastEnders star Gillian Taylforth, left, and Coronation Street’s Beverley Callard also dared to bare in the campaign against TV ageism
She said: ‘I’ve got less confident as I’ve got older, which is sad. I don’t feel comfortable in my own skin.’
She also said that she believed the problem is getting worse, and that television writers may be at fault.
She said: ‘Women my age face a lack of parts because writers don’t write about women in their 50s.
‘You used to confront ageism in your 50s, then it was in your 40s, now anyone over the age of 35 suffers the stigma of being “too old”.’
However despite acknowledging the difficulties that women face in television as they get older and saying that it ‘gets worse’, Sherrie is grateful to be on a television show where the experience and wisdom she has gained from being older definitely works in her favour.
She said: ‘I’m very lucky. Loose Women is the only show that actually celebrates older women.’
Loose Women anchor Andrea McLean, 41,  was the youngest of the women participating in the shoot, and said that she was ‘quite confident’ when it came to her body.
The full photo shoot and interview will appear in Best magazine, out September 20.
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