Coronation Street fans were surprised this August when Beverley Callard made a low-key exit from the soap that made her famous.
Now the actress, who played Liz McDonald on the soap, has revealed why: a botched hip operation has left her struggling to walk.
She made the revelations in an interview with OK Magazine and explained how she’d hidden the truth not only from her fans and cast mates, but her family too.
“My children were quite upset to see me,” she says. “Even though we’d FaceTimed, they were quite shocked when they saw me in person.”
The problems all started when a routine operation in March left Callard in terrible pain, with no soft tissue around her right hip joint.
She eventually had a second operation to try to correct the problem, and now she is on the very slow road to recovery with the help of her husband of 10 years, Jon.
“I don’t feel like me,” Callard told the magazine.
“I’m a really physical person. I don’t have any sit-down hobbies! My whole life has just stopped.
“I don’t know when I’ll be fully recovered. The hardest thing is I have no independence. I can’t drive or get myself anywhere.
“I can’t even stand and cook so Jon has to make me every meal. Jon has been my rock.”
It was announced that Callard was leaving the soap at the end of last year. At the time, she promised that her character Liz McDonald wouldn’t be killed off. Her absence this August was explained away as a holiday.
Sorry my darling it is true but I’ll be going out with a bang 💥! I talk all about my decision to leave in todays @OK_Magazine ❤️⚡️ I won’t be off relaxing though ...I’m heading back out on the road with https://t.co/4u2DIFXcUG & Liz isn’t going just yet! So lots to come for her! https://t.co/zhCB4qFQn7— Beverley Callard (@Beverleycallard) November 18, 2019
In fact, Callard does hope to return to Coronation Street in the future, as she had originally planned to do one more year on the soap before the operation changed those plans.
But everything depends on her recovery. She said, “This will be a long recovery. I can’t make any plans. Each day is about making the tiniest amount of progress.”
Back in 2017, the actress opened up about her battles with depression, an issue many people are dealing with now due to COVID-19 and the changes in our daily working lives.