Corrie icon Rita Tanner could be left down on her uppers after the newsagent’s she has managed for decades is whipped away from her.
A newspaper claims the veteran soap character, who made her first appearance in Weatherfield in 1964 and has been a regular since 1972, faces losing the Kabin after an old friend betrays her.
The Mirror reports gossiping busybody Norris Cole will flog the shop when he returns to the cobbles in 2019.
According to the newspaper, Norris – who bought up Rita’s share of the business in storyline when actress Barbara Knox took a break from the soap in 2009 – will sell the Kabin to Brian Packham and Cathy Matthews.
Cathy recently completed a short stint looking after the Kabin while Rita recovered from her fall outside the Rovers.
But it was an arrangement that Rita did not want to become a permanent one after Cathy wasted time reading the mags on the racks and even recommended to customers where they could strike a better bargain for the same wares on offer in the Weatherfield shop.
However, it seems the kebab shop worker has got a taste for the newsagent life – and will bid for the Kabin alongside partner Brian when Norris makes his Corrie comeback.
A TV insider reportedly said Rita will not give up her beloved shop without a fight.
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They are said to have told the newspaper: “Even when Norris bought it off her, she remained working there and has been holding the fort all these months while he has been away.
“Brian and Cathy tell Rita they have done the deal to buy the Kabin.
“But until she has seen the contract she’s having none of it. Let the Kabin war begin.”
It is believed the storyline will be actor Malcolm Hebden’s first back on the show as he reprises his role as resident nitpicker Norris following illness.
The 78-year-old suffered a heart attack last year but is believed to be well enough to gradually appear on the soap again.
Speaking about his brush with death, Malcolm told the Blackpool Gazette in July: “The heart attack tore a hole in my heart, they operated and took a chance.
“Fortunately I didn’t realise how bad it was; I was dying.”
He spent much of December last year in an induced coma before undergoing a groundbreaking op that saw his heart wrapped in tissue taken from a cow.
– Coronation Street airs on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 7.30pm and 8.30pm on ITV
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