Emma Thompson says sexism is more entrenched than when she started out in the acting industry.

“I think it’s still completely s*** actually,” the actress tells this week’s issue of Radio Times magazine, bemoaning the ageism that's prevalent and the dearth of opportunities for women.

“I don’t think there’s any appreciable improvement and I think that for women, the question of how they are supposed to look is worse than it was even when I was young. So, no, I am not impressed at all.”

In her latest film, The Legend of Barney Thompson, she plays a 77-year-old prostitute, which she admits is “a bit ageist" as she's only 56. “It would be really nice to get someone who is actually 77 to play her, but it’s a wildly comic role and I couldn’t resist.”

Thompson also criticises the press for being “deeply reactionary and homogenised”.

She continues: “When I was younger, I really did think we were on our way to a better world and when I look at it now, it is in a worse state than I have known it, particularly for women and I find that very disturbing and sad.”

“So I get behind as many young female performers as I can and actually a lot of the conversations I have with them are about exactly the fact that we are facing and writing about the same things and nothing has changed, and that some forms of sexism and unpleasantness to women have become more entrenched and indeed more prevalent.”

Read the full interview with Emma Thompson in this week’s edition of Radio Times, out in the shops on Tuesday 21st July and from Apple newsstand.