Robert Bathurst feels his acting is ''underused and underrated''.

The 59-year-old 'Cold Feet' actor - who was cast as management consultant David Marsden in the popular ITV programme for five series and has returned to the show this month after 13 years - has admitted he doesn't feel he is valued in the industry and believes he could be cast as the lead role in more shows.

Speaking to Radio Times magazine, he said: ''There are times when I feel underused and underrated. In the early 1990s, in the annual round-up, someone referred to me as the most underrated actor.

''As a self-employed performer, you can't be content - you've always got to be on the look-out and have a slightly beady attitude to where you might be going next and what you should be doing - and a sense of your own worth, because if you don't have it, well ...''

However, Robert - who starred in the period drama 'Downton Abbey', which saw him play widower Sir Anthony Strallan - has revealed the feeling is mutual in the industry and feels reassured when he meets other professionals who are ''gnarly'' about the roles they play.

He explained: ''But then I've never met anyone in the profession of any standing who isn't a bit gnarly about what parts they could have done.''

Meanwhile, Robert - who has four daughters Matilda, Clemency, Oriel and Honor with his wife of 31 years Victoria Threlfall - has revealed, unlike his on-screen character in 'Cold Feet', he has ''never'' had a mid-life crisis because he has not had anything to lose.

Speaking about his similarities with the characters he has played, he said: ''I didn't have a mid-life crisis in my own life because I've never been cool, so I never had anything to lose from that point of view.''