Coronation Street bosses are to shock millions of fans by killing off show legend Rita Tanner. Rita, played by Barbara Knox, made her Street debut in 1964, but she is set to be diagnosed with a brain tumour. And she will reject emergency surgery to remove the growth, fearing she might wake up to a life that she no longer remembers.
Soap sources said it would end in tragedy for Rita, who has recently been experiencing strange symptoms, such as bouts of forgetfulness. One said: “It has been suggested she might have dementia, but she does not. In fact, she will be diagnosed with a tumour and her doctors will say there is a serious risk she will die if they don’t remove it. But Rita is terrified that she could not know who she is, or recognise her friends. All the indications are that this will end tragically.”
Rita’s diagnosis is expected to be revealed in October. Actress Barbara, 83, made a one-off appearance as Rita in 1964 before being made a regular character in 1972. One of Rita’s most famous storylines saw her escape from her abusive partner Alan Bradley as he was knocked down by a Blackpool tram in 1989.