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Bev Callard to leave 'Coronation Street'

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Liz McDonald from Coronation Street

© ITV

Coronation Street favourite Beverley Callard is to leave the soap next year, it has been announced.

The actress - who has played Rovers Return landlady Liz McDonald on and off since 1989 - has made the decision to bow out of her iconic role to pursue pastures new.

In a statement, Callard explained: "I've loved every minute of my second stint on the street - it's always a difficult decision to make the leap but I returned for the 40th [anniversary], so leaving for the 50th feels like perfect timing.

"I'll miss everyone on the show but I'm looking forward to some new challenges and to see what life has to offer beyond Liz's famous mini skirts!"

Meanwhile, Coronation Street's series producer Phil Collinson commented: "Bev has created an iconic and much-loved character in Liz. She will be greatly missed behind the bar of The Rovers by the viewers of the show.

"She's a lovely lady and is such a talented actress. We all wish her well in whatever she does next and we hope to see the character of Liz return sometime in the future. Plans are now being made for an exciting exit storyline for her departure next year."

Liz has become one of Coronation Street's most popular characters since her debut alongside the rest of the McDonalds in the '80s. The character has also featured in a number of high-profile storylines, including a memorable domestic violence plot featuring Liz and then-husband Jim (Charles Lawson).

In real life, Callard will soon tie the knot with partner Jon McEwan. She has also recently been appearing as a regular guest panellist on ITV1's daytime show Loose Women. Get the Inside Soap magazine on your iPhone or iPad

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