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Ken and Rita to be banned from Coronation Street until 2021?

Ken and Rita to be banned from Coronation Street until 2021?
Older cast members could reportedly be written out until 2021 when Coronation Street resumes filming.

Coronation Street could reportedly resume filming without its older cast members when the soap gets going again.

Filming on the long-running serial stopped in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, which disproportionately affects those aged 70 and over, and the UK has now been in lockdown for over six weeks.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to start easing some of the strict lockdown conditions from Monday, however, meaning that the Corrie cast could begin filming new episodes in short order.

According to The Sun, producers remain concerned for the safety of older cast members, with a second spike of COVID-19 infections possible this winter.

The newspaper claims that as a result, the soap's two longest-serving cast members - 88-year-old Bill Roache (Ken Barlow) and 86-year-old Barbara Knox (Rita Sullivan) - will be "all but written out" until next Spring.

If true, that would throw plans for the 60th anniversary special this December into disarray, with Ken - resident on the cobbles since the first episode in 1960 - expected to have a significant role.

"It's a huge risk to remove some of Corrie's biggest stars, but far riskier to allow them on set," said a source. "In one respect, it's much simpler to focus on the storylines involving younger actors for whom returning to filming is less of a risk.

"But it's also a nightmare for the producers because an unusually large chunk of the show's cast are elderly and many of them had ongoing storylines sketched out for them months in advance."

Other cast members that could be written out include 69-year-old Helen Worth (Gail McIntyre), 76-year-old Sue Nicholls (Audrey Roberts) and 71-year-old David Neilson (Roy Cropper).


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