Corrie’s Barbara Knox: I would like to keep working
Barbara Knox has detailed her “greatest” storyline was the tram crash in 1989 which killed her violent ex-partner Alan Bradley whilst she survived.
The Rita Tanner actress first appeared on Coronation Street in 1964 after a one-off appearance before she returned to the soap in 1972.
Barbara’s character has had her fair share of heavy-hitting storylines, having survived three on-screen marriages, two near death experiences with trams [one at Blackpool] and one brain tumour.
Speaking to her former co-star Bradley Walsh in a candid interview, as she marks her ninth decade, the soap star shared her most poignant storyline that resonated with viewers, and admittedly received “heartbreaking letters” from fans for weeks.
More than 27 million viewers tuned in to watch Alan get hit by the tram in December 1989.
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Barbara recalled: “He [Alan played by Mark Eden] was chasing me and he shoved me in the car. As he went around there, I managed to get out.
“And I’ve managed to run and there’s a tram coming… it was so dramatic. One of the greatest storylines ever. And the beauty of the storyline was they didn’t do it in six weeks.
“It started off with Rita saying ‘what’s he up to’, then the money’s going and various things going on and then he gets very bad.”
“Something like that to take you out of the studio, you know, it’s good. You know, it’s an opportunity, it’s so strong. It’s never been done before.”
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She added: “I started getting heartbreaking letters from ladies who were going through the same horrible thing and not able to tell anybody. Maybe through that story.
“And the end… maybe ones done a bit of good. Somebody saw Rita get through it.”
Alan met his grisly end after subjecting Rita Fairclough, played by Barbara Knox, to years of an abusive relationship.
The shot of Rita breaking down in tears with the body of her lifeless ex in the background is one of the long-running soap’s most iconic images.
The memorable scene was filmed in Blackpool.
Barbara turned 90 at the end of September and is one of Coronation Street’s longest-serving actors, having become a regular cast member in the early 1970s.
The documentary special Barbara Knox At 90 will tonight at 9pm on ITV1 and ITVX.
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