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Beverley's leaving do; STAR BOWS OUT WITH NEW HAIRSTYLE.

FOR nine years it was all big, tarty blonde curls and lycra mini-skirts short enough to double as hairbands.

But now Coronation Street star Bev Callard has washed Liz McDonald right out of her hair.

To celebrate her exit from Weatherfield, 41-year-old Bev has gone for a whole new look.

Gone is the daffodil yellow, frizzy mane which earned her character Liz the title "flame-haired temptress".

And in its place is an elegant, wavy chestnut style and sophisticated wardrobe to match.

Bev unveiled her new look in front of 200 guest at a glitzy leaving party held in her honour in Manchester on Saturday night.

Bev said: "This is the new me and I love it."

A friend added: "Bev has tried to keep her new hair a secret and when she walked into the room I didn't recognise her at first. It was a big surprise.

"She loved playing Liz McDonald and will miss the Street terribly but after nine years she felt it was time for a change. She looks absolutely fabulous."

The star-studded bash at the V&A hotel near the Granada studios was organised by Bev's husband Steve, 33, who is also her manager.

Street stars including Charlie Lawson, Kevin Kennedy, Anne Kirkbride, Liz Dawn, Tracey Shaw, Simon Gregson and Vicky Entwistle all turned up to say goodbye to a tearful Bev.

Also present were Spice Girls Posh - with fiance David Beckham - and Mel B who went to school with Bev's 23-year-old daughter from her first marriage, Rebecca.

Cast members from other soaps - including Emmerdale's Lisa Riley - also joined in the festivities which lasted well into the early hours of the morning.

Rubbing shoulders with the stars were many of Bev's friends from outside the Street.

An aerobics teacher and Mirror fitness columnist, Bev also invited women whose lives and shapes have been transformed at her classes.

The Callards' nine-year-old son Josh was also allowed to stay up late to attend his mum's farewell party. But Bev kept her hair a secret from all her guests until the very last moment.

Wearing a stunning hand-beaded, long evening gown in bronze to match her new locks, Bev for once felt happy with her hair.

She said: "I've always hated my hair. It's naturally very fair and frizzy but no-one can call me a flame-haired temptress any more."

Bev filmed her final scenes in October but viewers won't see her emotional departure from the soap until November 14.

Her fiery on-off marriage with crippled husband Jim finally bites the dust when she leaves him to start a new life with his physio Michael.

It will also be a new life for Bev, who decided to leave Coronation Street after nine happy years to play different characters.

During her time on the show she's been beaten up by Jim, taken various lovers and refused to wear anything but lycra mini-skirts.

She already has two new TV dramas in the pipeline and next month starts rehearsals as Snow White's wicked stepmother in panto at Cambridge.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1998 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Weathers, : Helen
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Nov 2, 1998
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