Beverley Callard: Ex Corrie star slams ‘ageist’ and ‘sexist’ industry behind the cameras

Corrie star Beverly Callard shocked by recent storyline

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Beverley Callard, 63, is a household name for her role as Liz McDonald on Coronation Street among many other roles. She featured as part of the ITV soap for more than three decades. Having spent such a large amount of time on-screen in so many titles, she has now spoken out on her time on screen and opened up on the sexism that she has experienced. 

Beverley first joined Coronation Street back in 1989 and went on to feature as part of the series for more than three decades.

The actress announced her departure from the show in late 2019, with Beverley having since opened up on her experience working in the industry as a whole.

While chatting as part of the digital-book launch of Melanie Blake’s new book Ruthless Woman alongside Coleen Nolan and Jaqueline Gold, Beverley said: “The problem is that women have to fight the men first and foremost because it is such a sexist industry behind the scenes as well as in front of the cameras. 

“But I think that because the women always have to fight for their place, whether it be on the set, whether it be a woman who is on camera, whether it be a female director, they need to really fight because they are still in the minority.”

The actress also spoke of the comments she has heard while waiting to go on-screen over the years.

Recalling once particular scene, she explained: “When I have been at work, we have a place called the green room where all the actors sit and they are able to watch things that are being watched in the studio.

“I can remember years ago, quite a raunchy scene for the programme I was in being filmed and the man and the woman were both in their 60s. 

“And they were about to go into a kissing scene or whatever, and some of the men in the green room actually said about the woman ‘Oh dear condemned meat’.

“And I have heard producers say ‘oh no, she is past her sell-by date now.'”

She later added: “I think more often than not, in any mini-series or film, you will have the husband who is 55, with a 30 year-old wife.

“It’s so ageist. If they did that the other way round, with a 60-year-old woman with a 35-year-old husband, she would instantly be called a cougar.”

Beverley was 62-years-old when she announced she announced she would be leaving Coronation Street back in 2019 and praised the long-running soap for providing roles for older women in the industry. 

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Talking to OK! Magazine she admitted she fell “privileged” to still have the opportunity to work on screen.

The 63-year-old said: “There’s very little work in our industry for women over 50, but 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.”

She added: “I’m sick of ageism in the industry.

“Although I’ve had to leave the safety net of being in Coronation Street to do this, I’m hoping that ageist bosses, of which there are many, take note of how successful this show is and it starts the ball rolling on helping other women my age, get the roles they still deserve.”

Amid her departure from the show, Beverley spoke of wanting to pursue new roles and projects.

In November, Beverley featured as part of the 2020 line up for I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!

Beverly Callard & Coleen Nolan were speaking to Melanie Blake at the digital launch of her new book Ruthless Woman. The conversation is available to watch here: until Saturday 27th February. Ruthless Women by Melanie Blake is out now.

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