Coronation Street legend Beverley Callard has revealed her experiences of sexism and ageism in the TV industry, including hearing an older actress referred to as "condemned meat" prior to a romantic scene.
She made her first TV appearance in rival soap Emmerdale in 1983 after a brief stage career and has been a stalwart on British telly ever since.
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Speaking to The Sun, she revealed a moment of TV sexism she witnessed earlier in his career, but did not specify whether it was related to Corrie or another show.
"The man and the woman were both in their 60s and they were about to go into a kissing scene," said Callard.
"Some of the men in the Green Room, where all the actors sit, said about the woman: ‘Oh dear, condemned meat.’"
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Callard went on to explain that this particular occasion is symptomatic of broader issues with sexist and ageist attitudes in television.
She added: “I’ve heard producers say: ‘Oh no, she’s past her sell-by date now.’ I think more often than not, in any miniseries 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."
Callard added that the industry is now "chipping away" at these sexist attitudes, but that progress on that front is not moving fast enough.
The star was speaking at an online live event to mark the launch of author Melanie Blake's new book Ruthless Women.
Callard added that COVID-19 lockdown has helped her to make the decision to firmly close the door on playing Liz after more than three decades.
"I’ve really begun to enjoy my life and I don’t want to be working 12 hours a day, 48 weeks a year," said the star.
“It feels really empowering. We all spend our lives, more often than not, doing what we are told at work and I don’t want to do that anymore."
She revealed that Liz may now be given an off-screen death, admitting that the character survived previously because producers hoped she would return one day.
Watch: Callard awkwardly slams Vernon Kay's show on I'm a Celebrity