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‘Rita & Me’ will air next month, to mark the soap veteran’s golden ‘Corrie’-versary, and will look back over Rita Tanner’s finest moments over the past 50 years on the cobbles.
The one-hour special will also feature behind-the-scenes interviews with the cast of ‘Coronation Street’, as well as Barbara’s friends, about her life and time in the ITV soap.
Over the past half-century, Rita has been heavily involved in some of the most dramatic storylines in ‘Coronation Street’ history, including domestic violence at the hands of Harry Bates, the shocking death of her husband in a tram accident and, more recently, the murder of her close friend Tina McIntyre, played by Michelle Keegan.
In addition to her more serious storylines, Rita also provides much of the show’s trademark comedy scenes, thanks to her close friendship with Norris Cole, who she works alongside in The Kabin.
Barbara was first cast as Rita for a one-off appearance in 1964, eventually being taken on full-time seven years later.
She was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement prize at the 2004 British Soap Awards for her portrayal of Rita, and two years later scooped Best On-Screen Partnership for her work with Malcolm Hebden, who plays Norris.
In 2010, she was appointed an MBE for her “services to drama”.
‘Rita & Me’ will air on ITV in December.