Liz McDonald

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For the journalist, see Liz MacDonald.
Liz McDonald
Liz McDonald.jpg
Coronation Street character
Portrayed by Beverley Callard
Duration 1989–98, 2000–01,
2003–11, 2013–
First appearance 27 October 1989
Introduced by Mervyn Watson (1989)
Jane MacNaught (2000)
Kieran Roberts (2003)
Stuart Blackburn (2013)
Spin-off
appearances
"East Street" (2010)
Classification Present; regular
Profile
Occupation Barmaid
Pub landlady
Bookmaker
Businesswoman
Home Rovers Return Inn

Elizabeth Jayne "Liz" McDonald (née Greenwood, previously Tomlin) is a fictional character in the UK television ITV soap opera, Coronation Street. Portrayed by actress Beverley Callard, the character first appeared onscreen during the episode airing on 27 October 1989 and remained on the series until Callard opted to leave in 1998. She later returned for two brief stints in 2000 and 2003 before becoming a series regular once again in 2004. In 2006, the character became landlady of The Rovers Return after working there on and off since 1990.[1] Callard quit the role once again and Liz departed the serial on 14 April 2011.[2][3] It was confirmed on 30 May 2013 that Callard was offered a six-month return contract with the producer, Stuart Blackburn, hoping to make Liz a permanent character.[4] She made her return to the street on 14 October 2013, once again becoming Rovers landlady.[5][6][7]

Liz is fiercely protective of her family and the McDonald name. Her storylines have seen her embark on a series of failed romances, including marriages to Jim McDonald (Charles Lawson) and Vernon Tomlin (Ian Reddington). She has also had many feuds notably with son Steve's (Simon Gregson) wives Karen Philips (Suranne Jones) and Becky Granger (Katherine Kelly).

Callard has claimed Liz's unique fashion sense stems from Alec Gilroy (Roy Barraclough) telling her that she could "aerate the space under her chin a bit more" in an episode early on in Liz's time on the Street.

Storyline[edit]

1989–2011[edit]

Liz first appears on Coronation Street with her husband, ex-army sergeant Jim (Charles Lawson), and their twin sons Steve (Simon Gregson) and Andy (Nicholas Cochrane). Liz makes friends with Deirdre Barlow (Anne Kirkbride), whose daughter Tracy (Dawn Acton) is slightly younger than the twins. Liz and Jim split up after Jim punches Steve during an argument, moving into the flat above the pub. She begins a relationship with her co-worker Des Barnes' (Philip Middlemiss) brother, Colin (Ian Embleton), but is not as invested in the relationship as he is. Liz works as a barmaid at the Rovers Return Inn before becoming the manager of a nearby pub. She later reconciles with Jim and they agree to work on their marriage but their marriage came to an end.

Liz, who is now single, was working for Sean Skinner in the bookie's shop. She had a flirtation with Sean but it was ended by a criminal called Fraser Henderson. He noticed her when she was visiting Jim in prison and contacted her upon his release. He had Sean beaten but Liz gets involved with him despite this and he subsequently gives her a job in a wine bar he owns. Fiona Middleton's fiancé, police detective Alan McKenna (Glen Hugill) persuades Liz to get some inside information on Fraser, who leaves town when he discovers this. His henchman captures Liz and holds her and her sons captive in Number 11, where Liz manages to use her stiletto on the thug and the police arrest him. In 1998, after Jim is badly injured after falling from scaffolding following a fight with Steve on a building site, he becomes temporarily paralysed, needing physiotherapy and Liz, taking pity on him, moves back in to help take care of him. They grow closer but Liz soon becomes distracted by Jim's physiotherapist, Michael Wall (Dominic Rickhards) and starts an affair with him. Jim is planning to propose but throws Liz out after catching her in bed with Michael, and the two agree to a divorce. Liz and Michael leave Weatherfield for a new life together in Milton Keynes. Liz returns two years later when Jim is in prison for manslaughter after violently beating Jez Quigley (Lee Boardman) as revenge for Jez beating Steve. She is no longer with Michael. During this time she and Jim reconcile and remarry in the prison chapel. Liz leaves the Street again, following Jim around as he is transferred from one to another prison, getting jobs nearby so that she can visit.

Liz returns for son Steve and girlfriend Karen Phillips' (Suranne Jones) wedding. Liz meets Vernon Tomlin (Ian Reddington), a workshy drummer. He is very laid-back and totally unlike Jim, but they have fun and Liz feels like a teenager again. The pair split when Liz, tired of being taken for granted and his roving eye, throws him out. He returns, begging her to take him back and they get engaged.

When Jim is released Liz is wary of allowing him into her life. However, impressed by how he has changed, they stay friends, but when Jim corners her on her wedding day, her initial fears are justified. He tells her he loves her and will not allow the marriage to take place, launching a violent attack when Vernon intervenes. Liz suppresses her doubts about marrying Vernon and,bdetermined not to let Jim win, goes ahead. The couple go on honeymoon to Nashville. Vernon and Liz go to view a bar, possibly intending to buy it. Liz admits to Vernon that she would not be happy and no longer loves him, ending their marriage. A devastated Vernon moves out of the Rovers that day. Liz finds herself attracted to builder Owen Armstrong (Ian Puleston-Davies), who is new to the area and openly flirts with him across the bar. She is disgruntled when he takes Eileen Grimshaw (Sue Cleaver) on several dates, but tries to hide it. Eventually she and Owen begin dating. In early December 2010, Liz hears rumours that Owen arranged for former husband Jim to be beaten up. She packs her bags and heads for Andy's home in Spain, leaving Steve to reveal to Owen that the relationship is over.

Liz returns to discover that Steve and Becky bought Becky's nephew Max Turner (Harry McDermott) for 20,000 pounds, from Becky's sister Kylie (Paula Lane). She is further stunned when she learns that Becky looted from the corner shop, on the night of the tram crash three months previously, in order to give Kylie more cash. With the pub now under severe financial pressure, due to Steve and Becky buying Max, Liz is devastated. She makes her contempt for Becky clear from the outset, who responds by kicking Liz out of the pub. A desperate Liz then bumps into Jim at a hotel she is staying at. She seeks his support as she tells him of the situation that Becky and Steve have got themselves into. He suggests that she buy the pub but the bank manager refuses to give Liz a loan. Jim then suggests that he could buy the pub for Liz, as Steve and Becky decide to leave Weatherfield with Max and Amy. Liz makes her peace with the couple after they agree to the sale. Liz is now convinced that her dreams of owning The Rovers is going to come true and soon realises that she wants Jim to run it with her. The estranged couple soon reconcile. The date for the sale is set for 11 April 2011. Liz and Steve wait patiently at the Rovers, with the solicitor, for Jim to come in with the money for the sale. Liz is astonished when the police suddenly arrive at the pub to tell her that Jim has been caught robbing a bank and now has a number of hostages. Over the phone, Liz and Jim (from inside the bank) speak, he explains that he never had the money but wanted to buy The Rovers to make her happy. A frightened Liz convinces Jim to let the hostages go, discard his firearm and surrender to the police officers waiting outside the building. The day after his arrest, Liz visits Jim in prison and promises to wait for him. However, later that evening she decides to leave without telling Steve and Becky. After they have gone to bed, she leaves the pub and gets a taxi to the airport and flies out to Spain to live with Andy.

2013–[edit]

Liz returns to the street again in October 2013. It transpires that both Steve and Liz have bought back The Rovers Return from former landlady, Stella Price (Michelle Collins), owning 45% each. Liz is stunned when she walks into The Rovers and finds Tina McIntyre (Michelle Keegan) and Kylie Platt (Paula Lane) sharing a catfight in front of the bar. Liz and Kylie's friend Eva Price (Catherine Tyldesley) attempt to step in, but Liz watches in horror as Kylie accidentally slaps Eva. After throwing both Kylie and Tina out of the pub, Liz discovers that Steve hasn't told his girlfriend Michelle Connor (Kym Marsh) that she was co-owner. She is further surprised to learn that Michelle is co-landlady and owns 10% of the pub. Following a confrontation with Steve, Michelle resumes her friendship with Liz. Liz begins dating Tony Stewart (Terence Maynard). Later on, Steve sees that Tony isn't the nice man he pretends to be and tries to warn Liz, but she is having none of it and continues her relationship with Tony.

Characterisation[edit]

Liz as she appeared in 1991.

In 1989, Beverley Callard was cast in the show as matriarch of the new McDonald family, after having previously played the part of June Dewhurst in 1984.[8] Liz first appeared in October 1989 with her husband, ex-army sergeant [9] Jim McDonald (Charles Lawson), and their twin sons Steve (Simon Gregson) and Andy (Nicholas Cochrane). Liz and Jim were married very young when Liz got pregnant with the twins at the age of 16. They have a stormy marriage, caused by his hot temper and her habit of playing away. Soon after arriving on the Street, Liz makes friends with Deirdre Barlow (Anne Kirkbride), whose daughter Tracy (Dawn Acton) is slightly younger than the twins.

When asked in a 2010 interview with The Mirror what her favourite scenes were, Beverley Callard replied, "when Jim beat up Liz. I knew those scenes would have a huge impact. There were protests outside the studios and I had sacks of letters from battered wives. The scenes were so well written that one week viewers would have sympathy for Liz, the next Jim, then Liz. Opening those scripts gave me a buzz. And the viewing figures, 24 million, were massive."[10]

Development[edit]

Relationship with Jim McDonald[edit]

In August 2010, it was announced that Charles Lawson would be returning to play Jim McDonald. Callard revealed that the relationship is never boring ans said that Liz still loves Jim.[11] In February 2011, it was announced that Lawson would be returning again to be a part of Liz's exit storyline. Speaking of the exit storyline she Callard said: "It's a fantastic exit and it's absolutely massive, but Liz may not be leaving on her own!"[12]

In August 2003, it was reported that three big Coronation Street characters would be returning; Bet Lynch (Julie Goodyear), Jim McDonald (Charlie Lawson) and Liz for a six-week stint.[13] It was reported that Liz would reunite with her family in episodes set in Blackpool, speaking of the storyline a Coronation Street spokeswomen said: Fans will be on the edge of their seats when the week-long Blackpool adventure reaches an extraordinary finale involving a dramatic sea rescue and a tragic death.[14] In December 2003, Callard revealed that she would be returning again for Liz's son Steve (Simon Gregson)'s wedding to Karen Philips (Suranne Jones), she said to the News of the World: "I'm definitely coming back, I've just worked for four weeks and I had such a great time there's no way I can turn down a chance to come back".[15]

In November 2008, it was revelaed that Liz would imbark on a relationship with Lloyd Mullaney played by Craig Charles. Speaking of his reaction when he was told about the relationship Charles revealed: "Bev's a friend of me and my wife's, so it's all quite comfortable really. We get on really well, too. The relationship just opens up the whole scenario of Lloyd going out with his best mate's mum – and Steve definitely doesn't like it!" Charles also revealed that Steve McDonald's reaction to the relationship is that he is not impressed.[16]

Departure (2011)[edit]

On 20 October 2010 it was announced that Liz was to leave. Discussing her departure, Callard said "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, 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!"

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."

In March 2011, rumours of Liz's exit started. According to The Sun, poignant scenes on the ITV1 soap will see the landlady complete one final shift at her beloved pub before putting on her coat, walking to the door and taking in her surroundings for the last time as she turns off the lights. It is thought that bosses want the scenes to mirror the way iconic Rovers favourite Bet Lynch (Julie Goodyear) departed the cobbles in 1995.

After ex-husband Jim (Charles Lawson) staged an armed robbery at Weatherfield's building society.[clarification needed] (He does so as part of a desperate attempt to raise funds in order to buy The Rovers.) His plan goes wrong; Jim is expected to be jailed for 10 years - leaving Liz heartbroken. She agrees to wait for him, but with little keeping her in Weatherfield and after reminiscing on good and bad times she decides to leaves the country without telling him or her family. She leaves for the airport with her last words being, "Go for it".

Reintroduction (2013)[edit]

On 30 May 2013, it was confirmed that Callard would be returning as Liz later that year; her return scenes aired in October 2013. Speaking of her return Callard told itv.com: "I am coming home and I can't wait. I am so excited to be back, I have missed Liz so it will be great to play her again. Hopefully her skirts will have got a little bit longer, but we will see!"[17]

Romance with Tony Stewart[edit]

In October 2013, Beverley Callard revealed that Liz would have a boyfriend in an upcoming plot, she said: "She[Liz]'s telling everyone she's single, but there is someone coming in for Liz. My God, it's so exciting, but I can't reveal anything else yet."[18] Tabloids reported that Liz's boyfriend would be portrayed by Jimi Mistry but this was later proved to be false. It was later revealed that Liz would embark on a romance with Tony Stewart portrayed by Terrance Maynard in an upcoming storyline. Speaking of the plot Maynard said; "It was always going to be the case that they'd get together, so I knew that from the start. What the writers weren't sure about was what would develop between Tony and Eileen and whether there'd be any tensions there. Liz and Tony are a bit of a double act and I think that could go further. I think at the moment Tony's really genuine with Liz - I don't think he's trying to deceive her in any way. I don't know who is 'the one' for Tony, but he's definitely happy with Liz!"[19]

Reception[edit]

The Daily Record commented on the character calling her a "dogs' dinner" and after she rejoined the soap said "hopefully she won't stay around for long. If we're lucky she may totter off her six inch heels and fall into the Manchester Ship Canal never to be seen again".[20]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lowri Williams. "Liz McDonald to be Queen of Coronation Street". Entertainment Wise. Retrieved 6 October 2010. 
  2. ^ http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/soaps/s3/coronation-street/news/a283132/bev-callard-to-leave-coronation-street.html
  3. ^ Blackburn, Jen (20 October 2010). "Bev Callard to leave Corrie". The Sun (London). 
  4. ^ http://www.mirror.co.uk/tv/tv-news/liz-mcdonald-returning-corrie-actress-1921032
  5. ^ s3/coronation-street/news/a485666/coronation-street-beverley-callard-returning-as-liz-mcdonald.html
  6. ^ http://entertainment.stv.tv/tv/227377-beverley-callard-making-big-comeback-as-liz-in-coronation-street-in-october/
  7. ^ http://coronationstreetupdates.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/liz-mcdonald-returning-to-coronation.html
  8. ^ "Beverley Callard plays Liz". TV NZ. Retrieved 14 October 2010. 
  9. ^ http://www.itv.com/Soaps/coronationstreet/castandcharacters/mtop/JimMcDonald/default.html
  10. ^ Julie Mccaffery. "Coronation Street's Beverley Callard, who plays Liz McDonald, Spills Beans on Street Colleagues". The Mirror. Retrieved 6 October 2010. 
  11. ^ http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/soaps/s3/coronation-street/news/a279787/liz-and-jim-mcdonald-are-never-boring.html
  12. ^ http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/soaps/s3/coronation-street/news/a301635/another-corrie-stint-for-jim-mcdonald.html
  13. ^ http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/soaps/news/a11558/three-big-stars-back-on-the-street.html
  14. ^ http://www.lep.co.uk/news/local/exciting-plot-for-liz-1-394059
  15. ^ http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/soaps/news/a12293/callard-to-return-to-corrie-full-time.html
  16. ^ http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/soaps/s3/coronation-street/interviews/a137976/craig-charles-lloyd-mullaney-corrie.html
  17. ^ http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/soaps/s3/coronation-street/news/a485666/coronation-street-beverley-callard-returning-as-liz-mcdonald.html#~oZLyHfn19UuiSC
  18. ^ http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/soaps/s3/coronation-street/news/a519856/coronation-streets-beverley-callard-lizs-new-man-is-exciting.html
  19. ^ http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/soaps/s3/coronation-street/interviews/a584669/coronation-streets-terence-maynard-tony-will-be-a-slippery-rogue.html#~p57HJNcSTQdvEx
  20. ^ Randall, Tim. "How quickly people change in soapland; Soap watch.". Daily Record. Trinity Mirror. Retrieved 1 November 2011. 

External links[edit]