Beverley Callard has described how the electro-convulsive therapy (ECT) she underwent for depression damaged her memory, but relieved her despair.

The Coronation Street actress, who plays Rovers Return landlady Liz McDonald, said she can learn her lines, but is still unable to read a novel.

The 52-year-old told GMTV the ECT was a ‘last resort’, but helped her on the road to recovery.

The star was absent from the soap for five months last year. While viewers were told her character had jetted to Spain to stay with her son Andy, the actress had actually been taken to the Priory suffering from clinical depression.

She told GMTV she was in floods of tears on the Coronation Street set when she broke down on Friday, February 13, 2009.

She said it was a ‘very hazy, foggy time’, adding: “I just wanted it to stop. Apparently I was rambling. I did have suicidal thoughts.”

Asked about memory loss, she said: “I still have a little bit. I can’t read a novel yet, but I can learn my lines, which is weird really. I’m beginning to listen to myself a bit more. I’ve got to try and be kinder to myself and that’s quite hard. But I’m getting there.

“I’m not 100 per cent better, but I’m getting there. I’m on the climb back up again now.”

Beverley, who has written a book describing her experience, said: “I did think maybe I won’t ever talk about this. It evolved because I started going to therapy sessions. I never thought things like that would help me, but it did. The book came out of that really.”

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