Coronation Street barmaid Shelley Unwin is set to become the youngest ever boss at the Rovers Return, it was announced today.
She will take over as temporary manageress after show bosses revamped scripts on the show while actress Julie Goodyear was off sick.
Shelley - who is played by Sally Lindsay - will take over in the coming months with her appointment set to leave pint-pulling rival Gina frothing.
And her new position will spark speculation that she may be lined up as a more long-term replacement.
Goodyear, who plays brassy Bet Lynch, has been signed off work for a further period after suffering exhaustion. She has filmed only a handful of episodes since her widely-trumpeted return to the Rovers.
Corrie bosses have now completed plots for the show up until October.
Shelley will take over when temporary landlady Lillian Spencer leaves after alienating many of the regulars and leaving the pub in disarray.
A spokeswoman for the ITV1 soap said: ‘‘Shelley is a very popular character.
‘‘With her as Fred’s (licensee Fred Elliott, played by John Savident) right hand woman it opens the flood gates for back biting between Shelley and Gina who will not be happy that she has been promoted above her.’’
‘‘We are still hopeful that that Julie will come back but the show has now been storylined up until October.’’
The previous youngest manageress is thought to have been Natalie, played by Denise Welch, who was in her late 30s when she took over.
Lindsay will take over at the age of 28.