Amanda Redman has claimed she was asked to take her trousers off during an audition at the BBC when she was 22.
The actress, 62, said she remembered the name of the man but refused to reveal his identity.
Redman said similar incidents “happened every day” when she was starting out in the TV and film industries in the early 1980s.
She recalled the moment during an interview with Radio Times alongside her co-star in The Good Karma Hospital, Neil Morrissey.
Redman said: “I had one – this was an audition for the BBC – I walked in and the guy said, ‘Those purple velvet jeans look lovely on you, but I think they’d look better on the floor, would you take them off please?’”
Morrissey replied: “Hashtag MeToo! A BBC show?”
Redman said: “Oh, darling, it happened every day. I didn’t take them off, obviously. I burst into tears and I ran.
“I remember exactly who it was, but I won’t be saying. That was the norm then. I was 22 as well – a baby, really.”
Redman said ageism and sexism were still an issue in British TV and that representation was “rare”.
— Good Karma Hospital (@goodkarmahosp) March 9, 2020
She added: “On telly. It really is. I was thinking about the fact that the Americans seem less frightened of intimacy between older couples.
“I’m watching Madam Secretary, and the two leads are in their late 50s and have a really healthy sexual relationship. And it’s not repulsive. We in Britain tend to shy away from that. There’s ageism involved there.
“And – I’m going to get on my soapbox here – I believe that exists in this industry in our country.
“Especially when it comes to women. There are lots of actresses in their 50s who are wonderful, and they are nomads. Seriously. The men have a much easier time of it. They just do. And that makes me cross.
“Sheila Hancock said to me recently, ‘Can you imagine pitching a series to the BBC in which there’s three old, female police officers and we’ve been brought out of retirement to work with a hot young guy who’s still a serving police officer?’ Not a chance.”
Read the full interview in Radio Times, out now.