The Queen of the Kabin and Duchess of the Street, Rita has been a prominent and popular character since she made her debut in 1972, although she had made an appearance eight years prior. A personal favourite of mine, Rita has been through the mill and is a true survivor. She married Len Fairclough in 1977 and they were married until 1983. In 1992, she married Ted Sullivan, but he died of a brain tumour three months later. As well as Len and Ted, she’s had other liaisons that include Ken Barlow, Jimmy Graham, Tony Cunliffe, Benny Lewis, Alec Gilroy, Anthony Stephens and Colin Grimshaw. But her most famous conquest was Alan Bradley, who proposed to her twice and when she rejected him, he took revenge by robbing her. When she found out, he tried to kill her and when she escaped to
Blackpool, he chased her on the prom and was fatally hit by a tram – ending her nightmare! Since 1973, Rita has been manageress of the Kabin and with assistants Mavis Riley and Norris Cole; she’s starred in the soap’s comedy moments.