rita-tanner

Coronation Street viewers heartbroken over Rita Tanner storyline

Corrie's Rita had viewers welling up when she thought her husband was still alive

Emmy Griffiths

Coronation Street viewers were devastated after Rita Tanner forgot that her husband had died years ago on Wednesday night's episode. The Corrie fan favourite, who is played by Barbara Knox, seemed to be in good spirits as she set her dinner table for her husband, Len Fairclough, clearly having forgotten that Len died in a motorway accident back in 1983.

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After Rita's neighbour, Gemma Winter, is clearly concerned by her behaviour and tells her to have a sit down, Rita becomes visually upset, saying: "I'm so tired. You know I've got so much to do, I've run off my feet." Viewers of the show were quick to discuss what would be wrong with Rita, with one person writing: "The Rita storyline is only starting and it's breaking my heart already," while another added: "A little lump in my throat watching #Corrie and the #Rita storyline starting. Please don't kill off such a wonderful character." Fans even began a '#SaveRita' hashtag, with one person writing: "Unless Barbara Knox wants to retire, I will never ever ever forgive @itvcorrie if they are deliberately writing out Rita. #corrie #SaveRita." Another person tweeted: "I, too, add my voice to the chorus of "#SaveRita!" Long may the glorious Barbara Knox reign as the Duchess of Weatherfield."

READ: Coronation Street's new baby has a famous real-life mum!

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Rita was confused in the episode

According to sources, Rita could be diagnosed with a brain tumour. An insider told The Sun: "She will be diagnosed with a tumour and her doctors will say there is a serious risk she will die if they don't remove it. But Rita is terrified that she could not know who she is, or recognise her friends. All the indications are that this will end tragically."

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