Saturday 10 December 2016

Corrie's Liz flees as actress Beverley Callard takes break from show

Published 27/04/2016 | 20:57

Beverley Callard has been battling depression
Beverley Callard has been battling depression

Corrie favourite Liz McDonald is set to flee Weatherfield for Spain as actress Beverley Callard takes a break from the ITV soap to focus on her health.

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The exit plot for Liz follows the death of the character's former lover Tony Stewart, who was played by Terrence Maynard.

Earlier this month, a show source said Callard, 59, would be "taking time off" from her role as the Rovers Return favourite.

In the long-running ITV soap, the Grimshaws are in shock after learning of Tony's death from a heart attack.

Viewers watching on Wednesday will see Tony's devastated son Jason Grimshaw, played by departing Corrie actor Ryan Thomas, publicly blame Liz for the tragedy.

In Jason's mind, his father would still be alive if Liz had forgiven him for cheating on her with Tracy Barlow (Kate Ford).

Liz had tricked Tony into signing the Rovers back to her by making him believe they had a future together despite his affair with Tracy.

In an emotional goodbye last November, Tony told the Grimshaws he needed "a fresh start".

As a result of Jason's grief, Liz will head to Spain to escape the intense scrutiny of her friends and neighbours on Coronation Street.

The funeral scenes for Tony, who had become a compelling character during his Weatherfield stint, had to be reworked due to Callard's temporary break.

Pictures of the filming for the funeral include Jason, his brother Todd (Bruno Langley), his former girlfriend Eva Price (Catherine Tyldesley), his friend Sean (Antony Cotton) and vicar Billy Mayhew (Daniel Brocklebank).

Coronation Street's Callard has been open about her struggles with mental health.

In 2014, she told Piers Morgan on his Life Stories show that she had come close to taking her own life.

She said: "I tried maybe half a dozen times, but it wasn't a cry for help at all. I'd known for quite a while that I wasn't myself, but I didn't really know what to do about it.

"I was going to work and I was still filming and I didn't really talk to anyone about it and on that day they took me into The Priory in the early hours of the next morning and ... my doctor said, I looked like a 100-year-old woman.

"They tried different medications, but none of them seemed to work."

Callard revealed she is seeing a new doctor and has "hope" in her battle with depression.

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