Age gap between men and women on TV is closing, research finds

The age gap between male and female television personalities is closing, new research has found.

According to the research, which was carried out by The Radio Times, the average age of a woman appearing on television today is 40.22 years, compared with 32.62 years in 1950.

For men, the average age in 1950 was 46, and is the same today.

The survey looked at performers and presenters on primetime television who appeared in the 7pm to 10.30pm slot over the same week in April, starting with 1950 and moving up to 2010 in intervals of ten years.

All the talent appeared in programmes on BBC1 and ITV1.

The Radio Times said no more than three people had been selected from each programme, and that the survey had researched the ages of the talent involved.

Findings from the survey follow widespread criticisms that there are not enough roles for older female performers in television.

Equity research has found that for every female character in a drama, there are two male characters and that male actors over 45 regularly land leading parts, while women of this age do not.

A petition to address this imbalance has been signed by more than 7,000 people.

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