This article about Amanda Redman over at the Hathor Legacy made me realise just how good we have it on British TV in some ways; how we do have a fine variety of individual and, dare I say, normal looking women on our screens at all time. I watched the first few episodes of Parenthood and all the women are slender with no imperfections (not even glasses) and, sadly, Bonnie Bedelia doesn't look her age (though, actually, she does look her age...), and that is symptomatic of all US series.
The casting of Miracle Laurie in Dollhouse was a miracle and yet over here we had the two successive leading women in Jonathan Creek and neither of them, Caroline Quentin and Julia Sawalha, would get leading roles on US TV because they are both overweight.
Would Denise Black with her deformed hand get the same number of prominent roles in the States?
Our soaps are full of fabulous women of all shapes and sizes with women who look their age but it's not perfect in GB TV land because outside drama and comedy, older and fatter women are invisible. The current tribunal involving Miriam O'Reilly and Countryfile is a perfect example of this. Along with Charlotte Smith or Juliet Morris, there was no way these middle aged woman was going to be on prime time TV. Obviously, if a show needs a shake up you're not going to get rid of the fascinating blokes like John Craven and Adam Henson, are you?