Wednesday, October 10, 2012 - British actress Patricia Hodge is convinced older female stars struggle to land work in the U.K. because all the good parts go to Dame Judi Dench,

Dame Maggie Smith and Vanessa Redgrave.

Hodge, 66, has described the actresses as a "band of angels" who are "untouchable" as they continue to land high-profile jobs despite their advancing years - Dench is part of the James Bond franchise, Smith stars in TV hit Downton Abbey, and Redgrave won a Tony Award nomination last year (11) for her stint on Broadway.

The Miranda star insists other Brits don't get a chance to even audition for certain parts, because the roles are automatically offered to producers' top three favourites.

Speaking at Britain's Cheltenham Literature Festival, she says, "It is very difficult for us who are in this age group to talk about it because it makes you sound like an embittered old woman. Judi Dench, Vanessa Redgrave and Maggie Smith are on a level where they will always get work because whatever is on offer will go to them first.

"They are a band of angels up there who are ascending to heaven and are

untouchable. But for everyone else there is not nearly enough representation - but you can't create it overnight... There is a whole section of our community which is under represented."

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