Corrie star Beverley Callard says wearing the “unforgiving” outfits to play her character Liz McDonald added to her mental health woes.
The actress, who has struggled with depression for years, had to put on risqué clothes as the barmaid.
She said: “I lacked confidence very much and I had very low self-esteem and the clothes I had to wear for Liz were very unforgiving.
“It was silly things like that which would make me feel more self-conscious and I think that could be a part of it but, of course, it is not the cause.”
- Coronation Street fans shocked as ‘disgusting’ Tyler is revealed as father of Amy Barlow’s baby
Beverley, seen here with actress Kym Marsh, first appeared in the soap in 1984
Beverley, 61, was told roles were out of her reach because her mental illness made her “flaky and unreliable”.
The actress, who has long been open about her struggles, said there was a stigma around it during her career.
However, she says the situation has improved in recent years.
Beverley, a mother of two, said: “I had people in my industry say, ‘Well, you’d be great for this or you’d be great doing that particular thing. But you’ve had a mental health problem and you might be flaky and unreliable’.
“I’ve never been flaky and unreliable in my life and never will be. So the stigmas are still there but it’s getting smaller.”
Beverley was diagnosed with depression in 2009 after collapsing at the Corrie studios.
Medics said her “body had just gone on shutdown”, she says – showing she had ignored the symptoms for too long. Beverley said: “I think clinical depression is a curse of the strong – I think you tend to be a people-pleaser and a perfectionist.
“If something goes wrong, you try to remedy it yourself and you can’t make yourself better.”
- Coronation Street’s Alan Halsall cracks up in hilarious blunder with Maureen Lipman
She also tells how some acting roles were out of her reach because of her mental illness
As she had “left it far too late” for anti-depressants to work, she went to The Priory in London – where she had electroconvulsive therapy.
The star said it was hard to work as an actress while her mental health woes got worse but she did believe her TV profile helped when she was on the road to recovery.
She said: “I had very severe clinical depression and I put myself under pressure.
“I am a worrier. I tend to be a people- pleaser because I’m insecure. I think those factors contribute. Once you’re on the road to recovery, the job can be a great help.”
Beverley debuted in the ITV soap in 1984, playing Brian Tilsley’s friend Gail. She returned with the more significant role of Liz McDonald five years later.
Three years ago, she took two months off to battle depression.
And while she feels the stigma is being broken down, she has told of her fears it could turn the other way – with mental health issues becoming “fashionable”, like a “Gucci handbag”.
The Sunday Mirror supports Time to Change, which promotes understanding of mental health conditions in the workplace.
Showbiz and TV editor’s picks
Brooklyn Beckham ‘pursued’ Rita Ora
Gemma Collins and Arg’s strain
Kate Beckinsale rushed to hospital
Megan Barton-Hanson to face Vanessa