One of Coronation Street’s longest serving cast members looks set to leave the soap – with Beverley Callard announcing her decision to depart after 30 years.
Callard, who has played Liz McDonald since 1989, has claimed she will quit the Corrie cobbles towards the beginning of 2020 with “one hell of a bang.”
Speaking to OK Magazine, she said that she had alerted the show’s bosses to her decision earlier this month, and that her last scenes will hit screens in the late summer.
“There’s very little work in our industry for women over 50, but I’m 62 and recently I was doing three jobs at once,” she said.
“It made me realise how I was privileged to have the opportunity to do so when so many women my age no longer get the chance.”
She continued: “Although I’ve had to leave the safety net of being in Coronation Street to do this, I’m hoping that ageist bosses, of which there are many, take note of how successful this show is and it starts the ball rolling on helping other women my age, get the roles they still deserve.”
MD of Continuing Drama and Head of ITV in the North John Whiston said: “With the character of Liz, Beverley Callard has gifted to Coronation Street 30 years of brilliant drama, comedy and everything in between. Whether it’s sharing a wicked joke with Eileen, raising an arch eyebrow behind the bar of the Rovers or giving some feckless man the full force of her tongue, Liz is a true Coronation Street icon.
“And while we wish Bev well when she leaves to take on new challenges mid next year hopefully Weatherfield hasn’t seen the last of Liz!”
It won’t be the first time Callard has left the show. She previously quit in 1998, before returning in 2003, while more recently she took short breaks from 2010 to 2011 and then again from 2011 until 2013.
But she said quitting this time around has left her “in shock” and “totally numb.”
Callard’s character has been involved in a slew of high-profile storylines, including long-running feuds with her on-off partner Jim McDonald and their son Steve’s many wives, the premature death of a baby, and being the victim of a hit and run incident.
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