Thursday 30 March 2017

Beverley Callard takes break from Corrie after 'battling demons of depression'

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

Soap star Beverley Callard is taking "time off" from Coronation Street.

The actress, who plays Liz McDonald in the long-running ITV drama, said on social media that she has been "battling the demons of depression".

She claimed she will be deprived of a drug after pharmaceutical bosses withdrew the medication because it was not making money.

She did not say what the medication was, but suggested on Twitter that it was stopped for financial reasons.

Callard, 59, tweeted: "Been battling the demons of depression! One of the meds I'm on has been stopped by pharmaceutical company, apparently it doesn't make money."

She added: "I'm getting there!!!! Thanks so much for all your good wishes xxxx"

A show source confirmed the Yorkshire-born star's temporary departure following the discontinuation of her medication.

"She is taking some time off whilst her doctors look for a suitable alternative," the source said.

Callard ended up almost £150,000 in debt after two pubs she ran with her partner, John, went bust in 2008.

A year later she suffered a panic attack, was diagnosed with clinical depression and admitted to a psychiatric hospital.

Appearing on Piers Morgan's Life Stories show in 2014, she said she came very close to taking her own life.

She told Morgan: ''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 John said, and my doctor said, I looked like a 100-year-old woman. They tried different medications but none of them seemed to work.''

Doctors gave her electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) which had the side-effect of destroying her short-term memory, making it difficult to learn her lines.

She said: ''I actually, now, don't know how I learnt my lines.

''It was really a double life at that point. People stand on the gate waiting to meet people who are in Coronation Street and I couldn't sign my autograph because I couldn't remember how to spell my name. I truly couldn't write my name for the first six months.''

The actress said she would stay on medication for ''at least another couple of years'' to keep her from ''going into that black hole''.

Press Association

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