Barbara Knox plays the role of Rita on the Brit television show Coronation Street, first appearing in 1964.
She became a regular on the soapie in 1972. But not for much longer. Her character has seen a lot over the years, including being married three times, but The Sun has revealed she’s going to be killed off the show after her character is diagnosed with a brain tumour.
Fans have already taken to social media in dismay over the news.
An amazing opportunity and storyline for actor Barbara Knox but devastating for us viewers. I (selfishly) hope it's not true!
— Corrie Art (@CorrieArt) August 27, 2017
Knox, now aged 83, might be a long running member of the show but she’s not the longest serving. That honour goes to William Roache who has been on the show since 1960. Eileen Derbyshire is next, starting in 1961.
The UK is known for their long serving soap opera actors. Lesley Saweard has been on The Archers since 1953, while Patrician Green started in 1957.
In the US As The World Turns has three who have been on the show for 50 years. Helen Wagner has come and gone a few times, adding up a fifty years stint, but both Don Hastings and Eileen Fulton were on the show from 1960 until it ended in 2010.
Compare that to Australian shows, you’ve only got Ray Meagher as Alf Stewart who is not even close, marking up only 29 years since he started on the show in 1988.