The actress made her final appearance as Rovers Return landlady Liz McDonald last night. Callard, who announced her decision to quit the ITV1 soap after 21 years last October, told Channel 4's Fern that the long hours meant less time for fun between the cast.
"When I very first started it was two [episodes] but we knew that we were going to three, and of course now it's five," she said. "There's no rehearsal time anymore whatsoever. I think the quality of the show is still there - and I do truly believe that - and even though I'm leaving I will always be loyal to it. It's got the best actors, the best writers, most definitely the best crews as well; the sound people, the camera men - they are amazing."
She continued: "But what did change incredibly so was no rehearsal, no time to really study it. But also there's not as much fun as there used to be for me - because it's relentless now, and EastEnders is the same.
"Of course the people are good fun and it's great when you get the camaraderie and you work with someone for such a long time you know how they are going to respond to what your character is saying, but there's not as many practical jokes behind the scenes and things like that."
Callard told presenter Fern Britton: "Well there still is with Simon Gregson (Steve McDonald), because he just never changes! We love working together so I'll miss him."
She previously admitted that the filming schedule was "exhausting" but said that she would not rule out ever making a return to Weatherfield.
> Gallery: The life and times of Liz McDonald