Coronation Street's Barbara Knox has teased that there's "still a long way to go" for her alter-ego Rita Sullivan following her tragic brain tumour diagnosis.
Fans of the long-running soap were concerned that the shop owner's recent health scare would spell the end of the beloved character, but the 83-year-old actress - who has played Rita on and off since 1964 - has revealed that her character may not lose her battle with the disease but she does have a lot of "important decisions" to make.
Barbara said: "There is a long way to go yet in this storyline for Rita. As we follow her journey from the diagnosis to how she comes to terms with the uncertainty of what the future holds, she has some big decisions to make in coming weeks."
And, although it's a tough story to depict on screen, Barbara was thrilled when the soap's boss Kate Oates approached her about the plans for her character.
She said: "When our producer Kate Oates talked to me about the brain tumour storyline for Rita, I was honoured to be tasked with taking on such an important story.
"I was determined to ensure that we got every aspect of the portrayal of such a devastating illness correct."
And Barbara hopes the way she's played the brain tumour storyline, which made fans initially think Rita has dementia, will help other people recognise the symptoms.
Speaking to Inside Soap magazine, she said: "Until I started working on this storyline, I had no idea that a brain tumour could cause someone to act in the way that Rita has been. It can't just be me who was surprised by how it has affected Rita, so clearly not enough is known about brain tumours and their symptoms. It's a frightening disease and my thoughts are with everyone affected by a brain tumour."