Lesley Manville has said there is a growing demand for middle-aged women to see themselves represented on screen.

The star of comedy series Mum said that there has been a slow but significant shift to showing more older women in film and TV.

Manville plays the grieving Cathy in Mum, and says the character represents the kind of person more women want to see as the population ages.

Speaking at the Royal Television Society Awards in London, she said that life and acting careers don’t stop at 50, and more older women want to see people like them on screen.

She said: “There is an audience for this. Women want to watch programmes where they feel they’re represented.

“Comedy has been the bastion of men, historically, for many, many decades.

“It’s great that television and film are seeing not only how important, and vital and equal it is to have women at the helm. But there is a hunger, particularly from other women, to see that, to watch it.

“Especially the middle-aged women. It’s not game over just because you’re over 50.

“I think the shift has been quite slow, but I think the shift is beginning to be quite significant. I think series like Mum actually help that.”

Manville was nominated for best female comedy performance at the RTS awards.