Rovers Return 'bombshell' to pose problem for Stella

Coronation Street's Betty Williams will be revealed as the rightful owner of the Rovers Return.

Coronation Street's Betty Williams will be revealed as the rightful owner of the Rovers Return.

The late barmaid - who was played by Betty Driver for 42 years until her death in October 2011 - was left the pub in snobbish landlady Annie Walker's (Doris Speed) will in the 1980s, but the hotpot-making cook kept it hidden from everyone.

Betty's secret will be uncovered when her friends start clearing out her house after her on-screen funeral, but the "bombshell" could pose a problem for current landlady Stella Price (Michelle Collins).

Producer Phil Collinson explained: "We've waited a respectful while to say good bye to her on-screen, but we do that in a few weeks' time and it's really brilliant and moving - she was a very much loved member of the team.

"What they discover when they are clearing out her house is that Annie Walker, who was the landlady of the Rover Returns for 20 years, actually put the Rovers to Betty in her will and Betty has carried this secret and never took it over. So she has left behind a bit of a bombshell really, certainly for Stella."

Like Betty, Bill Roache - who portrays Ken Barlow - has signalled his intentions to see out his career on the soap and "never retire" from acting.

Speaking on ITV1's 'This Morning', Phil added: "Bill said to me he never wants to retire - I think he wants to be like Betty and work right up until the end, so I don't even want to think about that! I can't imagine 'Coronation Street' without him."

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