Beverley Callard as Liz McDonald (2008)
|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)
|"East Street" (2010)|
|Occupation||Barmaid (1990–2011, 2013–)
Pub landlady (2006–11, 2013–)
|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. It was announced on 20 October 2010, that Callard had quit the role once again and Liz departed the serial on 14 April 2011. It was confirmed on 30 2013 May that Callard was offered a six month return contract with the producer, Stuart Blackburn, hoping to make Liz a permanent character. She made her return to the street on 14 October 2013.
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). She has also had a fierce feud with local resident Teresa Bryant (Karen Henthorn).
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.
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 works as a barmaid at the Rovers Return Inn for some time, and is delighted to be offered her own pub, the Queens, by Newton & Ridley. She does really well there, and is in her element. At this time, she is going through a bad patch with Jim and eventually leaves him, moving into the flat above the pub. She takes up with Des Barnes' (Philip Middlemiss) brother, Colin (Ian Embleton), who is also working at the pub. It always seems that the relationship means more to him than her.
Liz gets a job at the bookies in 1995, because the owner, Sean Skinner (Terence Hillyer), fancies her. He thinks it is a pity the punters can't see her legs when she is working behind the counter. She leaves there after she and Des Barnes start becoming attracted to each other. It doesn't go further than a few kisses, but they both recognise the danger, and Liz wants to stay with Jim. However, Jim didn't believe her story of being sacked because they were over-staffed, especially when someone else was hired a few weeks later. She eventually admits the real reason and Jim flew into one of his rages. In early 1996, they were still trying to put this together when she revealed another incident on the way back from Jim's army reunion. This time, she'd slept with one of Jim's friends, way back in the days when he was in the army and she was left alone for long periods with just the twins for company. She'd found it too much and had finally given in to this guy who had been assiduously trying to seduce her for months.
Jim beats her and abandons her at the service station. She is left with nothing, and has to hitch a lift back home. The family are in uproar with Jim, and Liz goes to stay with Deirdre for a few days. Liz goes back to the house and changes the locks. Jim tries to get in to see her and has to be physically restrained by Curly Watts (Kevin Kennedy) and Kevin Webster (Michael Le Vell) when he starts smashing the back windows of the house. Liz takes out a restraining order on Jim, and calls the police when he insists on speaking to her another time and follows her into the Rovers. Andy and Steve were angry with Liz because they blamed her that Jim would have his bail taken away, but Liz fought back and said that he had hit her and how could they stand there saying that this "were all [her] fault".
Liz, now single, was working for Sean Skinner in the bookie's shop. She had a flirtation with Sean but it was thwarted by a criminal called Fraser Henderson. He noticed her when she was visiting Jim in the nick and contacted her when he was released. He had Sean beaten but Liz gets involved with him anyway and he 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 info on Fraser who skips town when he finds out. But his henchman captures Liz and holds her and her sons captive in Number 11. Liz manages to use her stiletto on the thug and the police arrest him. In 1998, after Jim has a bad accident on a building site, he becomes temporarily paralysed 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 going to propose and finds out, breaking his heart. Liz and Michael leave Weatherfield for a new life together in Milton Keynes.
Liz returns two years later when Jim is in prison for beating Jez Quigley (Lee Boardman) which results later in Jez's death. She is no longer with Michael. During this time she and Jim reconcile and remarry in the prison chapel. Liz leaves the Street again in January 2001, following Jim around as he is transferred from one to another prison, getting jobs nearby so that she can visit.
Liz reappeared in 2003 when she was living in Blackpool and regretting a fling with her latest boss, the owner of a pub. Jim got wind of her affair and broke out of prison to find her. They nearly escaped to Ireland on a boat but stopped to help Ashley (Steven Arnold) and Claire Peacock (Julia Haworth) who were in a boat and having trouble. Back on the dock, Jim was apprehended and sent back to prison. Liz went to Brighton with Bet Lynch (Julie Goodyear).
Liz reappeared again for son Steve and girlfriend Karen Phillips' (Suranne Jones) wedding in February 2004. She stayed for a while, causing trouble because she was spending time with Tracy (now played by Kate Ford) and her baby granddaughter, Amy, whom Tracy and Steve had conceived through a one-night stand. She went back to Brighton but returned when Fred Elliott (John Savident) hired her to work in the Rovers. After several romantic encounters, 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 in 2007.
When Jim is released in November 2007, Liz is wary of allowing him into her life. However, impressed by how he has changed, they stay friends. However, 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 determined not to let Jim win goes ahead. The couple go on honeymoon to Nashville. In June 2008, 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 kisses Steve's best friend Lloyd Mullaney (Craig Charles) during a Brazilian crunch party. They then start a relationship. However, she becomes mad at him when he is too embarrassed to say that she is his girlfriend in public, but later forgives him. The relationship ends after a number of months with Liz blaming the age gap between them. Liz disapproves of Steve and Becky Granger's (Katherine Kelly) marriage from the very beginning, stating that she thinks it won't go ahead. Their wedding is on 13 March, but Becky turns up drunk, and they never get married, proving her right. On her return from Spain, she avoids Lloyd and finally tells him that what they had was just a bit of fun, a tearful Lloyd attempts to win her back. Later, Liz tearfully reveals to Betty Williams (Betty Driver) that she has entered the menopause and she can no longer conceive. In August 2009, at Steve and Becky's wedding reception, Liz is furious when the pub is raided by the police for drugs and results in banning Becky from serving as barmaid. Following Lloyd's drunken one-night-stand with Teresa Bryant (Karen Henthorn), it seems that Liz is willing to get back with Lloyd as they get ready to go out and kiss. However, once the word of Teresa gets around, Liz is furious and ends things with Lloyd once more. 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 in March 2011 and is horrified to discover that Tracy is now working behind the bar at The Rovers and is looking after Amy. Liz subsequently discovers 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.
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. Lloyd and Eileen ask how Liz's life was while living in Spain, and Liz replies that it was actually a holiday, although she did own a health spa and a villa whilst there but sold the health spa to buy back The Rovers. Lloyd and Eileen are further shocked to hear Liz speak fluent Spanish. Liz moves into the pub with Steve, Michelle and Steve's daughter Amy Barlow (Elle Mulvaney). The following day, Liz is shocked when Michelle's father Barry (Frank Grimes) makes a drunken pass at her, and things get worse when Michelle confronts them both. When Tracy and her boyfriend Rob Donovan (Marc Baylis) begin goading Tina, Liz helps her control her anger. This fails, when Tina throws a brick through Rob and Tracy's shop window. Liz confronts Tina about the vandalism, and orders her to snap out of her behaviour.
Liz later appears on a girls' night out with Eileen and Deirdre, and tries to cheer them up after the men in their lives have left them. Eileen later tells Liz and Deirdre that her gay son, Todd (Bruno Langley) is returning to the street. When he returns, Liz is stunned to hear that he cheated on his boyfriend with another man. Liz and Michelle are hysterical when Steve decides to go back to college to study a history course. Steve and Michelle's relationship eventually turns sour when he makes a good friend at his history class named Andrea Beckett (Hayley Tamaddon), and Liz is caught in the middle of it. Barry later moves back to Ireland to sort his marriage out. Liz later notices chemistry between Tina and Peter Barlow (Chris Gascoyne), and as she enters the public toilets, she catches the pair as they are about to kiss. Liz is fuming with them and tells Tina to stay away from Peter as he is married to Carla Connor (Alison King), but Tina ignores Liz and has sex with Peter. Tina feels dreadful about herself and confides in Liz, who isn't very pleased by Tina's actions. Later, Liz attacks Peter and threatens him to stay away from Tina. When Tina finds out, she shouts at Liz. Later, Peter tells Tina he will never leave Carla for her, so Tina packs her bags and leaves Weatherfield after an emotional farewell to Liz. Michelle later confides in Liz that she might be pregnant, but orders her not to tell anyone, but Liz reveals all to Steve. Michelle discovers this and is furious with Liz, and tells the pair that she is not pregnant.
There is later animosity between Liz and Eileen, as Liz begins dating Eileen's ex, 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, despite her feud with Eileen. As the feud progresses, Liz and Eileen eventually forgive one another following several arguments. When Tina tries to attack Tracy in The Rovers, Liz snaps at her, saying that she needs to control herself once and for all or she will lose her job at the pub. Liz is later shocked when Peter confesses to Carla that he has been having an affair with Tina. When Tina is pushed off a balcony and beaten with a metal pipe on 27 May 2014, Liz reveals to the police that she knew that Tina was having an affair with Peter, which infuriates Michelle, who is Carla's best friend. Liz then calls Peter a "jellyfish" during an argument. Liz is later distraught when Tina dies in hospital from her injuries. She contemplates closing the pub as a mark of respect for Tina, but Michelle shouts at her, casting her a "home-wrecker" for sleeping with Peter behind Carla's back.
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. Liz first appeared in October 1989 with her husband, ex-army sergeant  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."
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. 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!"
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. 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. 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".
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.
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".
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".
- Lowri Williams. "Liz McDonald to be Queen of Coronation Street". Entertainment Wise. Retrieved 6 October 2010.
- Blackburn, Jen (20 October 2010). "Bev Callard to leave Corrie". The Sun (London).
- "Beverley Callard plays Liz". TV NZ. Retrieved 14 October 2010.
- Julie Mccaffery. "Coronation Street's Beverley Callard, who plays Liz McDonald, Spills Beans on Street Colleagues". The Mirror. Retrieved 6 October 2010.
- Randall, Tim. "How quickly people change in soapland; Soap watch.". Daily Record. Trinity Mirror. Retrieved 1 November 2011.