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Gavin and Stacey star breaks silence over historic sexual harassment

The actress spoke on Good Morning Britain

rules of the game alison
Nicky Morris
Nicky MorrisTV and film writer
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Gavin and Stacey star Alison Steadman has opened up about her experience of sexual harassment in the workplace during the 1970s and 80s. 

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Speaking on Good Morning Britain, Alison revealed that she has some "not very pleasant memories" of drunk actors "making suggestions" to her while drunk.  

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The Abigail's Party actress appeared on the show to promote the new BBC drama Rules of the Game, which she says was inspired by the Harvey Weinstein scandal. 

When asked by presenter Richard Madeley if she had experienced sexual harassment over the course of her career, she replied: "I mean, listen, nothing horrendous ever happened to me, I'm glad to say. But of course, in the 70s and into the 80s, men, actors, older men, it was always older men, who had a few drinks and would start making some suggestions and it just wasn't very nice."

She continued: "I have some not very pleasant memories of men getting drunk and chatting to me in a way that they should never have talked to anybody like that, never mind a young actress. It was horrible."

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Alison went on to say that while young women may be supported for coming forward with their experiences in today's society, it was a different story back in the 1970s and 80s. 

rules of the game alison steadman© Photo: BBC

Alison Steadman stars alongside Maxine Peake in the new drama

Speaking about some men being able to get away with their actions, she said: "They thought that was the norm, that was what they could do. Well, they can't. Thank goodness, now, young women are able to put their hand up and say, 'No, you will not do that, you cannot do that.'"

"I think that's wonderful and they would get support around them to actually stop this, which, in my day, there was nobody there. Nobody there at all," she added. 

Alison's new drama, Rules of the Game, looks at sexual politics in the modern workplace. The series follows Sam (Maxine Peake), the chief operating officer at a family-run sportswear business in the North West, who is rocked by a terrible death on the company premises. As she faces questions from the police, Sam is forced to address the toxic culture while dark secrets begin to emerge. 

Rules of the Game debuts on BBC One at 9pm on Tuesday 11 January.

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