TV

Coronation Street: Rita’s results revealed next week

The Street's legendary star will share her character's fate in a heart-rending episode

She’s been part of Coronation Street for 45 years as a full-time cast member, but we’ll know if she’s headed for the exit after next week.

Rita Tanner, played by Barbara Knox, was diagnosed as having a brain tumour last month, and she will learn the results of her life- saving surgery next week, discovering whether the tumour is malignant or benign.

Read more: Former Coronation Street favourite dies

Barbara, who celebrated her 84th birthday last month, has been heavily rumoured to be leaving the soap, although show boss Kate Oates has hinted that perhaps Rita won’t be killed off with the brain tumour.

“We have a heartbreaking story with Rita which I hope will really pull on the heartstrings as we are reminded of how lucky we are to have the great Barbara Knox,” she said. “Hopefully we can bring her back to the centre of the Street.”

In heartbreaking scenes, Rita attempted to hide from her friends on the proposed day of her operation, fearing the worst over possible complications due to surgery.

However, it was her trusty sidekick Norris who convinced her to go through with the operation.

As Rita was wheeled away into he operating theatre, she said to Norris: “Try not to make a nuisance of yourself.”

To which he replied: “And you try not to tell the doctors how to do their jobs.”

In real life, Barbara has been doing her own job to perfection, and she worked with charity Brain Tumour Research to make sure she made her character’s ordeal as accurate as possible.

The actress, who has played Rita for more than 50 years, worked closely with scriptwriters and charity Brain Tumour Research from the start of the storyline to make sure the storyline was portrayed sensitively.

“I was immediately determined to ensure that we got every aspect of the portrayal of such a devastating illness correct,” she said.

“The work the team did with Brain Tumour Research has been invaluable. As an actress playing the role I am mindful that there are people going through this in real life and it is vital that we do their stories justice.

“There is a long way to go yet in this storyline for Rita; as we follow her journey from the devastating diagnosis and how she comes to terms with the uncertainty of what the future holds for her, she has some big decisions to make in the coming weeks.

“Until I started working on this storyline I had no idea that a brain tumour could cause someone to act in the way Rita has been.

“It can’t just be me who has been surprised by how it affected Rita, so clearly not enough is known about brain tumours and their symptoms.

“It is a frightening disease and my thoughts are with everyone affected by a brain tumour.”

Rita’s fate will be revealed on screen next week- fingers crossed she pulls through!