Corries Barbara Knox future on soap exposed after saying days are numbered

Barbara Knox has captivated the nation as the beloved Rita Tanner on Coronation Street, but after a 51-year run, she knows that her time in Weatherfield is coming to an end.

The talented actress arrived on the scene briefly for an episode in 1964, before returning as a regular in 1972, and has recently signed an extension on her deal, keeping her around way into 2024, despite hitting her 90th birthday on September 30.

Currently, the performer is only second in the age ratings behind 91-year-old Bill Roache, who plays Ken Barlow.

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An insider told The Sun: “Barbara is in Corrie’s DNA. She is a true pro, and the executives were delighted that she put pen to paper to ensure she’s on screens into next year.

The source continued: “Corrie is a lovely, steady place to work with a supportive team, so it makes it easy to fit around family, having kids and as the cast have grown older.

“It was a no-brainer for Barbara to sign on the dotted line when the regular renewal of contracts came around this year.”

According to reports, it's obvious to see why she's hung around for so long, as she reportedly takes home £200,000 per year.

Showcasing her outrageous longevity, Rita has remained an integral character in the soap, appearing in 3885 of the show's 10,700 episodes.

Remarkably, Roach has racked up an astonishing 4470 episodes, while Helen Worth, who plays Gail Platt, could overtake him and become top dog with a current figure of 4430.

Unsurprisingly, during Barbara's time on the show, she has made many close friends, including Sally Ann Matthews.

The Jenny Bradley actress said: “I count myself very lucky that when I first joined the show, I had Barbara to work with – she's a real pro.

“Every year, she thinks she's not going to get another contract. I'm like, 'Seriously, Barbara?'

"If she ever forgets a line, which is very rare, she won't sleep that night – she's terrible. I tell her off all the time. Not many people can!”

To honour her impact on the programme, ITV will air an honourary birthday celebration special.

In what will likely be a fantastic experience for Barbara, she can stick on her party hat, eat some cake and relax as the Chase's Bradley Walsh hosts the whole thing.

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