Actress Anna Wing, 87, also known as Lou Beale in EastEnders, led a campaign against age discrimination at the House of Commons this year.

She co-founded Stage for Age, the showbusiness arm of Help the Aged.

Why do you support pensioners' rights?

Everyone should have respect from the cradle to the grave, but there is a tendency for it to fall away the closer one gets to the grave. As you grow older you become more vulnerable. We need voices, particularly from within our group.

Do you support other causes?

Oh yes! I've always been involved in charity work of some form. My parents were into charity and I worked with deprived children when I was young.

I remember coming home one day and seeing 80 children in the garden. They were from deprived East End backgrounds and my mother had invited them round.

Which causes do you support?

I'm particularly keen on the disabled and deaf. I have a disabled nephew and I think being deaf gets less sympathy than being blind. I'm also a keen supporter of Changing Faces.

Do you think famous people do enough for charity?

On the whole the theatre is incredibly generous. Most people give a proportion of their income and most do it secretly. My philosophy is if you are lucky enough to be independent and have a bit left over then give it to the next chap. It's a very simple philosophy that comes from my socialist family.

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