Weatherfield might be about to get its very own Fairy Godmother back, as Coronation Street is said to be in talks with veteran actress Eileen Derbyshire for a return.
Eileen has played iconic Corrie resident Emily Bishop ever since 1961, but has not stepped foot on the Street for four years.
Now, reports say that bosses are in talks for the character to return to the studios for the first time in four years, after taking extended leave in 2015.
According to The Sun Online, executives are hoping to tempt Eileen back to the studios in 2020 for a string of smaller roles.
The producers are desperate for her to return next year.
A source told the website: “Eileen knows she can come back anytime. The door is always open.”
They continued: “She’s never said she’s leaving the soap, just that she needs to continue to take time off, and the bosses will never write her out or kill Emily off.
“The producers are in regular contact with her and are desperate for her to return next year with the offer of a few very small parts.”
The soap star, who is 88 in real life and the longest-serving female in British soaps, was given time off by bosses for personal reasons.
On screen, her departure was explained with a storyline that saw her go to South America to spend time with her nephew Spider (remember him?).
However Emily is regularly referenced on screen, and recently appeared via video link to wish her friend Ken Barlow a happy 80th birthday.
In October, a brief clip showed Emily wishing Ken well – but it was actually filmed at actress Eileen’s home.
Another show source told the publication: “Talks are always on-going between Eileen and Coronation Street bosses, nothing has been confirmed yet but the conversation is always open.”
One of Emily’s most memorable storylines include the attempt on her life by Gail’s psychopath husband Richard Hillman.
Eileen has been on the ITV soap on and off for 59 years, so it’s only fitting that she returns in time for the soap’s 60th anniversary celebrations in 2020.
There are even rumours of another live episode!
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