Working in Britain can be frustrating, Adrian Lester has said.

"As a black actor you'll only see yourself travelling as far as people like you have travelled. If no one like you is doing what you're doing it's very hard for you to see yourself going further, and you get frustrated," the 43-year old Hustle star has been quoted by the Sun as saying.

He reportedly told the Radio Times that it had been "a different world" for black actors since he quit drama school in 1989. "We have got a long way to go, but it's getting better," he said.

He was also quoted by the Yorkshire Post as saying: "Things have changed. There are kids who, when they speak in whatever accent, you can't tell what colour - even gender - they are until you actually look. That's what Britain is. It's impossible to move backwards."

"Anybody who is intent on not moving forwards is moving backwards, and that's an exercise in futility. At the moment a lot of dramas with non-white actors in them feel as though they have to justify that presence. Fine - but the presence is there, justified or not. We've got a long way to go, but it's getting better," he added.

Adrian Lester was born in Birmingham and is popular for portraying a big-time con artist named Mickey Bricks Stone in the BBC TV series "Hustle".