James Nesbitt takes on sexism in passionate speech at TV Baftas

"As the father of two children – two girls – this should change"

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James Nesbitt – star of Cold Feet and The Hobbit trilogy – made his own special mark on the TV BAFTAs with a speech advocating equality for actresses.

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While presenting the award for Best Actress at Sundaynight’s ceremony, the Lucky Man actor announced his support for the Equal Representation for Actresses campaign.

“For one female role there are three male roles,” he explained. “This is an inequality that is not only about our industry, but it is an inequality that is absorbed by everyone on their screens every day. As the father of two children – two girls – this should change.”

The crowd, including Olivia Colman and Phoebe Waller-Bridge, applauded Nesbitt before he went on to present Sarah Lancashire with the award for her role in Happy Valley. She beat off competition from The Crown’s Claire Foy, Jodie Comer from Thirteen and Nikki Amuka-Bird from NW.

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Nesbitt’s comments came just after host Sue Perkins joked about the gender pay gap: “This award [Best Actress] represents what so many actresses aspire to – being paid just under the same amount as the leading actor.”