Press Centre

Rita and Me

  • Episode: 

    1 of 1

  • Transmission (TX): 

    Wed 31 Dec 2014
  • TX Confirmed: 

  • Time: 

    8.00pm - 9.00pm
  • Week: 

    Week 01 2015 : Sat 27 Dec - Fri 02 Jan
  • Channel: 

  • Status: 

The information contained herein is strictly embargoed from all press, online and social media use, non-commercial publication, or syndication until Tuesday 9 December 2014.
It’s 50 years since Barbara Knox’s first appearance in Coronation Street in December 1964. Over the decades to come she would go on to play one of British TV’s most famous characters.
This documentary celebrates Rita’s greatest moments and tells the story of the Oldham girl who went on to be one of Corrie’s biggest stars. 
In this hour-long special Barbara retraces her childhood holidays on the coast, steps back into Blackpool’s Tower Ballroom where she first caught the performing bug, revisits Oldham Coliseum where she takes to the stage to relive her earliest performances, and talks about her work away from Weatherfield – including her singing career and radio and TV appearances alongside performers like Ken Dodd.
Rita & Me also reunites Barbara with actor Thelma Barlow who played Mavis Wilton, the other half of one of Coronation Street’s best-loved double acts as the pair, who became firm friends, recall their greatest moments on screen. There’s laughter, singing and even tears as they recall the final scene they recorded together as Mavis – and Thelma - left Coronation Street.
Meanwhile, Malcolm Hebden – who plays Rita’s friend Norris Cole – talks about the off-screen friendship he shares with Barbara.
We also hear from Mark Eden, who played the Street’s most notorious baddie - the evil Alan Bradley - as we hear the story behind one of Corrie’s most memorable storylines, as over 26 million viewers watched Alan, in pursuit of Rita, get run over by a Blackpool tram.
There are also surprises in store as huge Corrie fan Paul O’Grady interrupts filming on the set to congratulate Barbara - on behalf of Corrie fans everywhere - for five decades full of memorable on-screen moments.
Rita & Me features contributions from fans, colleagues and cast members past and present including; Paul O’Grady, Julian Fellowes, Thelma Barlow, Ken Dodd, Sue Nicholls, Malcolm Hebden, William Roache, Mark Eden, Sally Dynevor, Helen Worth and Brooke Vincent.