Beverley Callard: My job really affected my mental health
Beverley Callard, 64, has revealed her “upset” at being snubbed for Coronation Street’s 50th-anniversary episodes in 2010, as her character Liz McDonald was a key part of the soap’s plotline. The actress had appeared in the programme for 20 years when she discovered her role would not have a starring part in the show’s half-century celebrations.
It was a big deal!
Beverley joined Coronation Street in 1989 and quickly became a firm fan favourite playing barmaid Liz, mother to Steve McDonald, played by actor Simon Gregson, on the soap.
However, she was left disappointed after not being asked to appear in the show’s 50-year anniversary episodes.
She said: “It was a big deal considering I’d been in the show for 20 years.
“I was deeply upset about that decision. I remember saying, ‘I’m the landlady of The Rovers. How can I not be in these episodes?’
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“But I wasn’t. That’s showbiz,” she added to The Sunday Express.
Coronation Street’s 50-year anniversary storyline focused on a tram crash with a live episode aired to demonstrate the aftermath of the accident.
The episode attracted an average of 14 million viewers, peaking at 14.9 million, the show’s highest audience for seven years.
Beverley has now closed the door on Coronation Street to explore new opportunities including a potential show for her and husband Jon McEwan.
She added: “I’ve also been offered a show for me and Jon. I can’t tell you what it is, but we love the idea and it’s going to be a lot of fun.”
Jon and Beverley have been together 10 years, and the star shared a scary experience they encountered in the early days of their relationship.
Beverley divulged that when she and her spouse were returning home from Malaga in Spain after a holiday, they were stopped at the airport by police.
They were later ushered to prison in relation to a traffic accident, however, the actress mistakenly believed her partner, who she has nicknamed “megash*g”, was being arrested on a drug trafficking charge.
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Beverley recalled: “The Spanish official stared at Jon’s passport for ages, then kept tapping things into his computer and looking Jon up and down. Something clearly wasn’t right.
“Then he started talking to Jon really fast in Spanish. The next thing I knew Jon was surrounded by airport security and was being arrested. ‘Oh my God,’ I thought. ‘What now?’
“The only word that I could make out that the official was saying was, ‘Traffico, traffico.’
“‘Oh no, he can’t be,’ I thought. ‘He can’t be a drugs trafficker! How on earth am I going to explain this one to Mum?’”
The Coronation Street star quickly attracted attention from fans who were also in the queue at the airport.
Writing in her book, Unbroken, she added: “All the Coronation Street fans in the queue were now beside themselves with fascination at what was going on as I stood there like a lemon seeing my new fella being led away to jail.
“After much confusion, I was finally reassured that Jon wasn’t a drugs trafficker after all and that what the security men were talking about was a traffic offence.”
Jon had been involved in an accident, and as a result, spent two nights in prison until the situation was thankfully resolved.
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