IT’S hard to imagine Coronation Street’s Liz McDonald being afraid of anything but actress Beverley Callard who has played the role feisty character for 30 years admits that the next couple of weeks are likely to be the most terrifying of her life.

For Beverley is taking on the role of narrator in the cult musical The Rocky Horror Show at Manchester Opera House. And she’s making history, becoming the first woman to do so.

“Someone sent me a photo of the front of the Opera House when they put the posters up with my name on it,” said Beverley. “That’s what filled me with fear.

“Being part of such an iconic show, that’s really intimidating but it’s also so exciting as well.”

The Rocky Horror Show, which features the classic Time Warp, tells the story of college kids Brad and Janet who break down outside the home of the bizarre Dr Frank’n’Furter. It has been delighting audiences for more than 45 years, many of whom dress up as characters in the show and heckle the cast throughout.

“I have seen the show a few times and I’ve loved it,” said Beverley. “I’m always astonished that the audience gets so involved. From a performer’s point of view, it just gives you a massive buzz to have an audience so involved.

“Some of the shout outs that the audience do are aimed very much towards a male narrator so it will be very interesting what they shout out to me. I can’t even begin to think what it might be.

“I didn’t realise that I was the first woman to the narrator until the director told me on the first day of rehearsal - that was good of him! No pressure there then.”

Starring alongside Beverley will be Ben Adams of chart-toppers A1 and Strictly Come Dancing champion turned musical star, Joanne Clifton, as Brad and Janet. The pair have recently finished a major UK tour in the musical Flashdance.

“The whole company are amazing,” said Beverley. “They have been so welcoming. They have already started the tour in Brighton and will be going around the country after Manchester. So for me, it was a bit like being the first day at school when I went for the first rehearsal with them but they were all just so friendly.

“Joanne is amazing. We all know she’s a great dancer but she’s also got the voice of an angel.”

Beverley admits that after becoming one of the most famous faces on TV through Britain’s longest running soap, the Rocky Horror Show, will be a bit of a culture shock.

“I love the intimacy of the camera and working on TV,” she said. “but I think every now and then you’ve got to step outside your comfort zone.

“Being on stage in front of an audience is what I first did in this industry – it’s what attracted me to the profession in the first place.

“I’m sure audiences will be really supportive though. I’ve been getting lots of messages from everyone wishing me luck.”

The Rocky Horror Show is not for the faint hearted.

“Oh, it’s very naughty,” laughed Beverley. “It’s like a very grown up version of panto. When you think it was written in 1972 and the film was made in 1973 it was really shocking and such a brave thing to do.”

The new tour will see a number of famous faces taking on the narrator role as it tours the country including Steve Punt, Dom Joly and Alison Hammond.

But for its stay in Manchester, Beverley will be taking centre stage.

“I’ll be doing eight shows a week including the matinees,” she said. “I want to make the most of the opportunity.

“I was asked to do longer in the show but realistically I could only do Manchester due to Coronation Street but it’s great that it will here for three weeks.”

Beverley will still be filming episodes of Coronation Street during the show’s run at the Opera House.

“I’m not mega busy at work,” she said. “I’ve just come to the end of a big storyline in the show so now there’s a bit of a lull which is why the Street said I could do this.

“The storm begins again after Rocky Horror finishes,” she added mysteriously.

So how does Beverley see her role as narrator

“The narrator is one step removed from all the madness going on around her,” she said. “It’s her job to take the audience on a journey.

“I think she’s quite cheeky and she’s definitely got that twinkle in her eye but I also think she’s quite proper as well.

“ She’s slightly shocked by what’s happening and is worried about what’s happening to Brad and Janet.”

Given the outrageous nature of some of the costumes in the show, what can the audience expect from Beverley’s character.

“Someone asked me ‘when was the last time you wore fishnets?’. I just said ‘I play Liz McDonald– it was yesterday. It’s not unusual’. I think Liz’s wardrobe would fit in quite well here.

The Rocky Horror Show, Manchester Opera House, until Saturday, January 26. Details from 0844 871 3018 or