Actress Beverley Callard is to make a Coronation Street comeback as Liz McDonald after two years away from the ITV soap.
The former Rovers landlady was last seen quitting Weatherfield for Spain after former husband Jim was sent to prison for robbing a bank and taking hostages. But now Liz will return this October to sort out son Steve (Simon Gregson) who will be seen experiencing a crisis with partner Michelle (Kym Lomas).
Speaking of her return, Callard today said: “I am coming home and I can’t wait. I am so excited to be back, I have missed Liz so it will be great to play her again. Hopefully her skirts will have a got a little bit longer but we will see! I have been getting texts from Simon [who plays Steve] saying we are going to rock the place and can’t wait to work with Kym again and see if we can control the giggles.”
The show’s producer Stuart Blackburn commented: “I’m truly thrilled to welcome Bev back to the Street, she’s a fantastic actor and Liz McDonald is a truly wonderful character. It won’t come as any surprise to learn that her return is sure to ruffle more than a few feathers – welcome home Liz!”
Callard, who has had several stints as the brassy Liz since her original debut in 1989, has talked previously about the pressures of filming Coronation Street and the effects that it had on her mental health:
“I had a small touch of depression years ago, and then two years ago it hit me very hard,” she told the Daily Mirror in March 2011, before saying of her Corrie experiences: “It’s the best job in the world, but the schedule can be tiring. It’s exhausting for anybody working 12 hours a day, every single day. But when I was poorly two years ago, I found it relentless.”
In June 2012, she revealed that she left the Street to care for her mother Mavis, who was in the final stages of Alzheimer’s disease: “I was faced with a choice between the Street or Mum. I love everything about Corrie but there could be only one answer,” she said to the Sunday Mirror.
Callard also opened up about financial troubles that had left her bankrupt: “Since the bankruptcy became public people think I’m a showbiz diva who frittered her cash away on expensive dinners and fancy clothes. That couldn’t be further from the truth.
“It was horrific. I’ve worked non-stop since I was 16 and somehow it all seemed it had been for nothing.”
In recent months, the actress has been playing the role of Mari Hoff in a UK touring production of The Rise and Fall of Little Voice alongside X Factor star Ray Quinn.