CORONATION Street legend Beverley Callard admits North Wales is a place she holds close to her heart as she prepares to enter I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here!
The actress famed for playing Corrie’s Liz McDonald since 1989, was scheduled to star on stage at the Rhyl Pavilion this year, before the Coronavirus pandemic brought that to a halt.
However, the actress will be making her way to North Wales after all, after signing up for the 20th series of ITV’s I’m A Celeb which takes place at Abergele’s Gwrych Castle as of this Sunday.
When asked by the Rhyl Journal if she holds a special place in her heart for North Wales, Beverley replied: “‘Do you know, I really do and I should have been there (at Rhyl Pavilion) this year, but of course because of Covid that’s not happening, but hopefully next year it will go ahead. I’m really looking forward to it.”
Asked about if she would have still signed up if the show had been in its traditional Australian setting, she added: “I actually said yes (to going on the show) when it was in Australia, and my husband Jon was convinced we were going to be staying in the Versace Hotel but here we are in lockdown in St Helen’s!”
By now, having spent more than 30 years portraying the character, Beverley is most well-known for having played glamorous Rovers Return landlady Liz McDonald on Coronation Street, with her final scenes in that role having been filmed earlier this year before they air in 2021.
But Beverley says one of the biggest misconceptions she aims to dispel during her time at the castle is that she is in fact ‘not glamorous at all’ in real life.
Speaking to the Rhyl Journal about her feelings ahead of entering the camp, Beverley added: “Nervous is an understatement, believe me. But, I just thought, I’m going to take each day as it comes.
“I really don’t enjoy appearing as Beverley, as an actor I love reading the script and turning those words into a new person. But this year because of everything that’s gone on; I just thought why the hell not? But I honestly don’t know what the public will think of Beverley!”
Beverley says former I’m A Celeb contests and Corrie stars such as Andy Whyment (Kirk Sutherland) and Jenny McAlpine (Fiz Brown) have given her some advice before she takes on this year’s show – although the setting and trials are set to be completely different due to its change in location.
When asked about who she would like to see join her as her dream fellow contestants on this year’s I’m A Celeb, Beverley told the Rhyl Journal she had jokingly told husband Jon she would ‘leave home’ for the lead singer of heavy metal band Disturbed – aka David Draiman.
She said: “I’d like Brad Pitt, I’d like the lead singer from Disturbed, cause I have told Jon I would leave home for that boy, I’d also like Ricky Gervais cos he makes me laugh and I’d like French and Saunders – just people who are really good fun, that’s what I would like more than anything I think.”
Beverley also revealed that, following a positive recovery from hip surgery earlier this year, her doctor had told her that the hospital would ‘like to use her as an example.’
She said: “He told me Beverley, you’re a hell of a woman. He had said that I’d have no chance of going on the show, but after one op in March and the big one in July, I’ve seen him a lot over the past few months and I haven’t missed a physio session and have also undergone hydrotherapy.
“So, there’s only one thing I’m not allowed to do and that’s bungee jump, he said everything else I can do. I’d hate it if they said I can’t take part in a trial due to medical reasons, I don’t want to be thought of as a wuss. That would drive me insane, as I’ve worked my socks off to be here and I’m not going to quit.”