Corrie star Barbara Knox says “I haven’t thought of retiring” as she reveals real terror over Rita’s kidnap!
In a rare interview with the Daily Mirror, Barbara said, “Retire? What a filthy word! I haven’t thought of retiring.
“I keep saying to everybody I know – don’t retire, just keep working. It’s so good for you – it certainly is for me.
“I know it’s hard and you’re tired and you don’t want to go in, but your brain is in action.
“And I do think the sheer discipline of work helps to keep you younger. So apart from loving the job, that is at the back of my mind.
“I’ve done it all my life and I enjoy it and I genuinely find it stimulating.”
Barbara, who’s also starred in A Family At War, Goodbye Mr Chips and Emergency Ward 10, went on to say that when she was written out of Corrie for 11 weeks, she realized then that she couldn’t possibly leave work permanently…
She said, “I remember once I was written out by a producer for 11 weeks – I think I’d answered him back, and I thought, ‘well, that’s fine, lovely’.
“And the first week I thought it was the way to live and the second week I went shopping. And the third week I thought, ‘I’ve done that’.
“Oh my goodness, I was walking up the wall by the end of that time. I thought, ‘It’s no good – you’re a worker – you’re not that domesticated, lady!’”
And being such a veteran of the Street has its perks in as much as Barbara has been at the centre of many of the show’s biggest storylines, and Rita’s forthcoming marriage to Dennis Tanner (Phillip Lowrie) is just the latest which will see Rita kidnapped by drug dealer Rick Whelan (Greg Wood).
However, Barbara revealed that when we see the scenes in which her character is taken hostage, her fear is very real.
She explained, “I was terrified – it really was very scary. There was quite a bit of rough handling and it was right at the edge of this water – it was awful.
“I was thrown about like a rag doll, almost going over into the water – it was very frightening.”
Of the lead up to Rita being grabbed by Rick, Barbara revealed, “I was stood there watching them doing their dialogue…
“So when he pushed me I screamed and it was genuine. I didn’t know that was going to happen – I thought he was just going to shake me.
“Greg Wood who plays Rick was very good. He hung on to me, because I was so terrified.”
However, Barbara also revealed that she couldn’t wait to get involved in the planning of Rita and Dennis’s big day.
She said, “As you get older and you’re going to get married, its difficult, you can look very silly.
“And I wanted to say to ladies out there, ‘you can look very nice’. So we went to a lot of trouble.
“I bought the material – it’s chiffon and very pretty – and we went about designing it.
“The hat is a copy of one of mine and I went tramping round everywhere to find a plain court shoe.”
And it’s not the first time that Barbara has personally chosen Rita’s outfits and accessories. She added, “What’s funny is the lovely young girls we have in the programme will come and say, ‘where did you get that bag?’
“And I’ll say, ‘It’s about 35 years old darling, a lot older than you!’ They’re all bags I’ve bought for Rita.”
Barbara added, “I’ve kept all Rita’s engagement rings. My dressing room is full of jewels.
“I’ve dozens of earrings, bracelets – you name it. I’ve saved every item of jewellery Rita has ever worn.”
And finally, reverting back to the wedding storyline, Barbara said, “Getting married at this age is a good story for older people.
“Lots of soaps now are for kids and I thought this was brilliant.
“It’s invigorating, uplifting, different and lovely and I might inspire somebody to say, ‘at my age, you can do it’.”
We’ll see Rita’s wedding day drama on June 4th in special episodes to commemorate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
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