Coronation Street has been on our screens since 1960 and, since then, soap fans have fallen in love with the characters and their on-screen lives.

Beverley Callard entered the street as a regular in 1989 to play Liz McDonald. We spoke to her about her time on the show and her upcoming departure…

Tell us about when you joined Coronation Street?

I actually had a brief stint on the show in 1984, as a different character called June, but not for long; it was a fleeting part. My whole family have always watched the soap since the beginning, so I knew all the characters, so when I walked on the set on my first day, it was all very intimidating.

I realised from the beginning, the show had some extremely strong women characters, like Gail, Rita, and Deirdre, so I knew right away I had to make Liz different because they were all iconic.

Also, in the beginning, the producers and directors would watch us deliver our lines, which was very scary. We had to learn our scripts word-perfect back in the earlier days.

What do you think about your character Liz?

I wanted my character to complement the show and not compete with the other characters. In a long-running soap, as well as taking inspiration from the writers, which of course you do, you can also inspire them. In an ordinary drama that concludes quickly you can’t do that.

Liz is a strong-willed woman, she loves her boys, and although she has a sharp tongue sometimes, she’s a good mother, friend and wife.

Do you ever get an input into storylines – especially the on-screen feuds?

No, I don’t. Believe me, if I did, I would try looking like Michelle Pfeiffer and I would wear designer clothes instead of what I wear. That would be one thing I’d have to change, for sure.

Liz has a sharp tongue, she kind of talks before she thinks – she once referred to one of Steve’s (her son) girlfriends as a dog!

Her longest-running battle is with one of the main characters, Tracy Barlow. Steve married Tracey, not once but twice, and Liz couldn’t believe he had her back a second time. She was pleased he got rid of her in the first place, but Tracy never goes away – and they have a daughter in the show together, Amy.

The writers are the ones that created Liz and know best when it comes to her character, mannerisms and storylines.

After 30 years, you’ve decided to leave the soap. Tell us about that decision…

I had some sleepless nights before I made the decision to walk away from Coronation Street. It was not a decision I made lightly, but I wanted to take on some new roles and projects.

There’s very little work in our industry for women over 50. I’m 62 and recently I was doing three jobs at once. 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.

Do you know your final storylines yet or how your character Liz will exit the show?

I have no idea what will happen. The only thing I’ve been guaranteed is that Liz is not going to die. It would be really good if she found love and happiness, but I can’t see that happening.

I’ll miss the failed romances and the feuds, but not the fashion. I promise Liz will leave with one hell of a bang, so keep watching.

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