Coronation Street's Rita Sullivan is set for a tragic dementia storyline.
The loveable corner shop owner - portrayed by Barbara Knox - has sparked fears for her health in recent days after she seemingly forgot that she had bought her neighbour a mug and then, in distressing scenes to be aired next week, she forgets what day it is.
Although she looks fit as a fiddle, fans are convinced her deteriorating memory will lead to a heartbreaking battle with dementia which, ultimately, will claim her life.
According to the Daily Star newspaper, a spokesperson for the long-running soap refused to comment on whether the screen legend would be written out in the future.
However, it's believed producers are hoping they can outdo Mike Baldwin's (Johnny Briggs) shocking fight against Alzheimer's in 2005 which contributed to his death.
Rumours that Rita is going to be killed off comes just a year after Samia Ghadie - who plays hairdresser Maria Connor in the show - warned fans to get their tissues ready as a "well-loved member of the cast" is set to die in heartbreaking scenes in the future.
She said at the time: "It's been great fun filming, but this week I've been recording some of THE saddest scenes I've ever done in my 17 years at 'Corrie'. When I first read the scripts I was in tears so getting to film them has set me off. You may need your tissues when they air. And we say a sad goodbye to a well loved member of the cast."
However, although viewers will be forced to say goodbye to one of their favourite characters, new boss Kate Oates - who previously worked on 'Emmerdale' - has revealed that some new and old faces are set to grace the cobbled streets of Weatherfield throughout the next year or so.
The decision to pull in some more cast members comes just weeks after it was revealed the show will air six nights a week from 2017.
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