'I didn't want to be classed as a Northern actress' says Lesley Sharp ahead of new Yorkshire drama

Lesley Sharp and Philip Glenister will star in a new Yorkshire drama series.
Lesley Sharp and Philip Glenister will star in a new Yorkshire drama series.
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Lesley Sharp has said she does not want to be classified as a northern actress because of the "class system".

The Manchester-born actress, 57, has also said that she thinks middle-aged people are not well-represented on TV.

Sharp told the Radio Times: "I didn't want to be classified as a northern actress."

Asked if that was because of northern actors being perceived to have a limited repertoire, she said: "Less about being northern and more to do with the class system that's rife still.

"That's just the way it is."

The Bafta-nominated star, who is known for TV roles in Scott And Bailey and Three Girls and for appearing in films including The Fully Monty and Rita, Sue and Bob Too, will soon star in Sky 1 series Living The Dream.

In the series, she and Philip Glenister play a British couple who move to Florida to open a trailer park, their teenage children in tow.

Sharp said: "They are going on an adventure before all that middle-aged stuff kicks in.

"I think there's an awful lot of middle-aged people like that out there, but they're not represented on TV very often."

The six-part comedy drama series, which airs in November, sees Sharp play Jen and Glenister as Mal, who move from Yorkshire to the US to embark on their dream, while coming up against a whole new set of issues with their changed lifestyle.

On whether the BBC's Three Girls - which focused on the Rochdale sexual exploitation ring - and the new programme, and which of the two catches her own feelings about men, Sharp said: "I don't like to generalise about men, but I do feel there's still a long way to go if we want a society that is civilised, kind and tolerant, not biased, bigoted, homophobic or racist.

"Men and women, alike, we've got to keep chipping away."

Radio Times is on sale now.

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