"Freak accident" for Coronation Street's Rita this Christmas will have "far-reaching consequences"
Producer Iain MacLeod addresses the Kabin queen's future on the cobbles
It's not all shootouts and showdowns on Coronation Street this Christmas – while killer Gary Windass takes centre stage for the gun siege which sees the likes of Maria Connor, Sarah Platt and Adam Barlow in jeopardy, Weatherfield veteran Rita Tanner has a tear-jerking storyline in which a "freak accident" puts her future on the cobbles in doubt. But surely producer Iain MacLeod isn't killing off the queen of the Kabin?
"I won't expect you to tune in on Christmas Day and watch Rita's demise, that is something I'd never do!" the show boss assures RadioTimes.com. "Rita has a small but heartbreaking story over the festive period that puts her in some physical peril initially, though ultimately she will be okay.
"However, it will have more far-reaching consequences in terms of the perception of her role on the street – and in the world.
"It showcases Barbara Knox's undoubtable talent and reminds us how she completely nails it when she is given something big to do. It's subtle and poignant, and Barbara has embraced it with the gusto you'd expect."
And it won't be wrapped up in a bow like the proverbial present, as MacLeod confirms the plot continues into 2020 and it sounds like a game-changer for the soap legend, who made her debut back in 1964 before becoming a cast regular from 1972.
"The impact of it plays into next year, culminating around February. We're very proud to tell stories at Corrie with the likes of Rita and Audrey Roberts successfully as well as the younger cohorts. Multi-generational storytelling is what all soaps do in the UK, unlike our US counterparts which are full of beautiful people of indeterminate ages who have all had too much surgery!"
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