She’s a stalwart of Coronation Street, but we’re very worried about Rita Tanner.
She’s been seen behaving strangely on the Street for a few weeks now, but on Friday night the newsagent, played by Barbara Knox, collapsed at a hen party. The event was to celebrate her foster daughter Jenny Bradley’s up-coming wedding, but (as is so often the way in soap-land!) happiness turned quickly to despair as poor Rita was taken to hospital.
Her family and friends had been wondering if Rita’s confusion was a result of developing dementia, but on Monday night it was revealed that she has a brain tumour. The shocked character was given the news in hospital after a brain scan.
We – and many Corrie fans – are worried that the soap might kill off the much-loved character, who has been a staple of the show since 1972. Many fans tweeted to say the diagnosis had left them in tears.
The cast and crew of Corrie are hoping that the storyline will raise awareness about the symptoms of brain tumours.
Speaking about the plot, Barbara Knox, aged 83, said: “Until I started working on this storyline I had no idea a brain tumour could cause someone to act in the way Rita has been.
“It can’t just be me who has been surprised by how it affected Rita. Clearly not enough is known about brain tumours and their symptoms.
“It is a frightening disease and my thoughts are with everyone affected by a brain tumour. “As an actress I am mindful there are people going through this in real life – it’s vital we do their stories justice.”
Around 16,000 people are diagnosed with a brain tumour each year in the UK.