Coronation Street star Barbara Knox suffers a hilarious mishap as she reunites with a


Coronation Street legend Barbara Knox celebrated her 90th birthday with a one-off ITV Special on Friday, including a reunion with one of the soap’s most iconic names.

The actress, who has played Rita Tanner on the soap since 1962, enjoyed a trip down memory lane looking back at her time on the cobbles with Bradley Walsh.

During the show, fans were also treated to a surprise reunion between Barbara and her former co-star Malcolm Hebden, who played the legendary cobbles gossip Norris Cole.

Norris and Rita became known for their hilarious quips in The Kabin shop, though the Malcolm retired from acting in 2021.

As they chatted on the set, Malcolm admitted he missed the soap, with Barbara suggesting he come back – unaware that Norris was killed off in 2021. 

Back together! Coronation Street legend Barbara Knox celebrated her 90th birthday with a one-off ITV Special on Friday, including a reunion with one of the soap's most iconic names

Back together! Coronation Street legend Barbara Knox celebrated her 90th birthday with a one-off ITV Special on Friday, including a reunion with one of the soap’s most iconic names

Look who it is! During the show, fans were treated to a surprise reunion between Barbara and her former co-star Malcolm Hebden, who played the legendary cobbles gossip Norris Cole

Look who it is! During the show, fans were treated to a surprise reunion between Barbara and her former co-star Malcolm Hebden, who played the legendary cobbles gossip Norris Cole

Malcolm, however, was more aware of his Corrie fate, quipping back: ‘Come back as a corpse? I’m buried.’

Barbara then replied: ‘Did we bury you? That’s terrible. Come back as a ghost.’

Malcolm, who first joined the Corrie cast in 1994, also paid tribute to Barbara in a pre-recorded message that played during the birthday event.

‘Barbara was the glamorous one. Because of her experience in the theatre, she knew how to feed the line,’ he said.

‘It was never competitive — more often than not, I was the one who got put down. But I didn’t mind that, as that’s how a partnership works. We had an awful lot of good laughs both on and off the set.

‘I couldn’t have worked with anybody better, it was joyous.’

Earlier in the special, Barbara was also reunited with Thelma Barlow, who played Rita’s best friend Mavis Wilton until 1997. 

The pair were close friends both on and off-screen, and Thelma recalled the heartfelt moments that they filmed their final scene together.

It's Norris! The street gossip Norris Cole, played by Malcolm Hebden, 83, returned to Weatherfield after quitting the soap three years ago (pictured on the soap in 2017)

It’s Norris! The street gossip Norris Cole, played by Malcolm Hebden, 83, returned to Weatherfield after quitting the soap three years ago (pictured on the soap in 2017)

He's dead! As they chatted on the set, Malcolm admitted he missed the soap, with Barbara suggesting he come back - unaware that Norris was killed off in 2021

He’s dead! As they chatted on the set, Malcolm admitted he missed the soap, with Barbara suggesting he come back – unaware that Norris was killed off in 2021

Happy Birthday: In the documentary, Barbara was joined by former Corrie star Bradley Walsh to look back at her six-decade tenure on the soap

Happy Birthday: In the documentary, Barbara was joined by former Corrie star Bradley Walsh to look back at her six-decade tenure on the soap

‘We both ended up crying and went to the coffee room to recover. The director said we needed to do the scene again, and we couldn’t,’ she said.

Barbara turned 90 on September 30 but the actress isn’t ready for retirement yet after she signed her contract to continue her iconic role into 2024.

She is now Barbara the second oldest Corrie cast member to Ken Barlow actor Bill Roache, who is 91. 

It is thought Barbara commands a healthy £200,000 per year for her role as Rita.



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