Coronation Street fans were left reeling – and some in tears – after beloved Cobbles resident Rita Sullivan collapsed at the Rovers Return amid growing fears about her health.
The Corrie stalwart, played by Barbara Knox, has become steadily more ill in recent episodes, with her friend Gemma Winter (Dolly-Rose Campbell) believing she has a form of dementia.
Having refused to see a doctor over her memory loss, fans’ fears were realised when, at the hen party of Eva Price (Catherine Tyldesley) at the Rovers Return pub, Rita fell to the floor in front of the guests.
Oh no Rita! 💔September 15, 2017
She had become angered after being challenged by Gemma, who tricked Rita into writing four cheques in order to prove that she is struggling with her memory.
One viewer wrote on Twitter: “I’m crying at Rita. I love her like my own Nana.”
Another said: “This Rita storyline is breaking my heart.”
In the second of two episodes aired on Friday, Rita was taken to hospital alongside warring Gemma and Jenny Bradley (Sally Ann Matthews).
#corrie I'm crying at Rita. I love her like my own Nana. 😢— Gemma Dakin (@GemmaDakin_93) September 15, 2017
Jenny, who is set to tie the knot with Johnny Connor and has been busy planning her wedding, is left stunned as Gemma reveals Rita’s recent health battle.
Rita – who has been a fixture on the soap since the 1960s – was later seen being taken away by the doctors, looking up at the hospital ceiling and sending a prayer to God to “help” her.
The poignant moment was another blow to fans, with one writing: “Sorry Corrie these scenes of Rita are way too distressing, it’s Rita for god sake.”
“I can’t cope with this Rita storyline,” another added, while another said it was “sad and unfair”.
“Sobbing at #Corrie poor Rita!” one wrote.
I can't cope with this Rita storyline 😢💔 #corrie— Emma-Louise (@EmmaF282) September 15, 2017
Sobbing at #Corrie poor Rita!— Samantha Venables (@SMVenables) September 15, 2017
I actually want to cry for Rita😫 It's so sad and unfair💔 #Corrie— Rhianna (@RhiannaRebbecca) September 15, 2017
Elsewhere, the tension continued to rise between Eva and Maria Connor (Samia Longchambon), who finally discovered that Eva has been lying about being pregnant with her fiance Aidan Connor’s baby.
Maria had previously had an affair with Aidan (Shayne Ward) and is being targeted by Eva in her dastardly “revenge plan”, which includes the fake pregnancy.
:: Coronation Street continues on Monday at 7.30pm on ITV.