Coronation Street unveils first look at Barbara Knox's 90th birthday special on ITV

Coronation Street has unveiled a first look at its 90th birthday special for iconic actress Barbara Knox.

Today (September 21), ITV released an official birthday portrait of Knox ahead the celebrations for her 90th birthday with cast and crew.

Knox has played Rita in Coronation Street for over 50 years, after an initial one-off appearance as exotic dancer Rita Littlewood in 1964.

a portrait of coronation street actress barbara knox in an embroidered shawl against a gold background

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Well known as the owner of The Kabin, which she took over in 1973, Rita's many sidekicks include other Corrie legends Mavis Riley (Thelma Barlow) and Norris Cole (Malcolm Hebden).

Rita has had 3 husbands - Len Fairclough, Ted Sullivan and Dennis Tanner - and holds the record for receiving more marriage proposals than any other character: 15 rings from 12 different men.

ITV has confirmed as part of Barbara Knox's birthday celebrations, a documentary titled Barbara Knox at 90 will air next month on ITV1 & ITVX.

Barbara Knox

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Knox's 90th birthday is on September 30 – but the ITV special won't air on the channel until October 13, at 9pm.

The special will be hosted by The Chase and Doctor Who star Bradley Walsh; it will feature Corrie actors past and present, all gathering to celebrate Knox's career and reminisce over the most memorable moments of her life.

"It’s easy to throw the words ‘legend’ and ‘icon’ around, but Barbara Knox really does embody both of those terms," ITV's Head of Entertainment Commissioning, Katie Rawcliffe, said upon the announcement of the special.

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Coronation Street airs on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 8pm on ITV1 and streams on ITVX.

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