The issue of age in the workplace is one that is almost guaranteed to stir debate, especially in professions, such as entertainment or the media, when the physical evidence of advancing years can, on occasion, have negative consequences for someone's career prospects.

In recent years, a number of allegations have surfaced about such difficulties being more acute for women than for their male counterparts. Only last week, a House of Lords' Select Committee report concluded that the BBC had "coerced" older female employees into leaving.

The committee's work had, in part, been prompted by an age discrimination ruling in 2011 in favour of Miriam O'Reilly, a former presenter of the broadcaster's 'Countryfile' programme, who claimed that she had been sacked because she was "too old".

Complaints about a shortage of roles for actresses once they reach middle-age have also been made by prominent stars of stage and screen, including Jessica Chastain and Faye Dunaway. Generally, of course, such arguments have been made by individuals who have spent many years in their discipline of choice.

This week, though, came an age-related story with a twist. Producers of the long-running soap opera 'Coronation Street' dispensed with the services of a 25-year-old actress, Katie Redford, whom they had earlier hired to play the part of a teenage girl. Her character was recast after it emerged that Ms Redford was several years older than programme bosses had first thought.

Reading news reports of the matter, I found myself wondering why, in fact, she had been let go. After all, the same producers who are replacing her must surely have been convinced not only of her ability to physically resemble a girl aged 14 but her acting talent too.

It could be argued that there are artistic reasons why an actor in their twenties might not be hired to play an octogenarian, even with all the prosthetic potential that make-up departments can create. In my opinion, the quality and relevance of someone's ability to do a job of work is what counts - regardless of whether that position is in a film, a law firm or on a shop floor.

If an actress wins a role because she has the looks and the acting 'chops' for the part, how is her age relevant? I do not believe that it should matter.

There are other commentators who share my position. Some, including the Government's 'tsar' for older workers, Ros Altmann, have gone further and suggested that the age pressures on women are so immense that they can understand those who "play the game" by keeping their date of birth a secret from employers.

Should people take that approach and be found out, then it could be construed as evidence of untrustworthiness, something which employers can regard as a more serious flaw in their staff.

For women, especially those pursuing very public professions, acting their age - or not - can produce outcomes every bit as challenging as the most compelling screenplay. All they can hope is that whatever they decide, they do not end up as the protagonist in their own very real courtroom drama.