08:57 16 July 2009
Coronation Street's Rita Sutherland is resigning from her post as owner of the Kabin after 36 years,
Rita, played by Barbara Knox, first breaks the news that she is retiring to her good friends Norris Cole (Malcolm Hebden) and Emily Bishop (Eileen Derbyshire).
An insider told The Sun: "It's a massive change for the face of Coronation Street. Rita has been selling cigarettes, organising papers and gossiping with customers for decades.
"She is one of the soap's biggest characters."
At Ramsay Clegg's wake at the Rovers Return, Rita tells her friends: "His death made me think about why I'm working at the shop when I don't need to.
"I'm fed up of working, I'm going to retire. I know I've said it before but this time I mean it and I won't be changing my mind."
Rita started running the local newsagents 1973 for Len Fairclough (Peter Adamson), who she married four years later.
Knox has been playing Rita since she first arrived on the Street in 1964, making her one of the longest serving cast members in the show's history.
Only William Roache, who plays Ken Barlow, and Eileen Derbyshire have been in the soap longer.
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