Beverley Callard has said she has left Coronation Street “forever” as she felt that Liz McDonald, who she played for more than 30 years, had “lost her way”.
She said: “I felt Liz had run her course. I’d hate to cheat any fans out there who were waiting and hoping for something amazing to happen to her. I felt like she’d lost her way.”
Adding that she had decided not to stay just to “take the cheque”, even during a time of low job security for actors, Callard said the coronavirus pandemic put paid to filming a big exit scene for Liz.
She said: “I was actually toying with the idea of going back to film an exit, but I felt that they wouldn’t be able to do Liz justice under the current COVID restrictions. I want to preserve her.”
Although Callard, 63, is at peace with her decision to leave, she admitted that if it was up to her she would have loved to see Liz get back together with ex-husband Jim, played by Charles Lawson.
However, she said she would accept Liz being killed off-screen if that’s what bosses decided on in the future.
She said: “If they do I’ll accept it with grace. I’ve thought long and hard about this and I know that this time I’ve shut the door on Coronation Street forever.”
Callard has had periods away from her role in the soap before, including one break from 1998 until 2003, and another from 2011 until 2013.
She also took a shorter break in 2016 to seek treatment for clinical depression, and her final scenes, filmed in 2020, will air this year.
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