Created 13th October 2004
Updated 6th November 2004

Rita Fairclough/Sullivan (née Littlewood)

Played by & IMDB entry for Barbara Mullaney/Knox

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Appeared: (1964, 1972- )

Rita was Born: 25th February 1932

Married: 20 April 1977 Len Fairclough at St Mary's Parish Church
Married 2nd: 5 June 1992 Ted Sullivan at Weatherfield Register Office
(both husbands died)

The Following Profile was submitted by Patricia Dempsey and is ©2004 to Patricia Dempsey &

Rita Littlewood was born to Harold and Amy in Fallowfield, Manchester. Harold left home in 1940 leaving Amy to bring up her wayward daughter alone until she died in 1956. When Rita left school in 1946 she worked for a time in a grocer's shop but was determined to fulfil her ambition to be in showbusiness. In 1964 she turned up in the Rovers Return looking for somwhere to stay. She was at that time an exotic dancer and her friend had broken her arm, leaving Rita on her own for a while. She spotted her old friend Dennis Tanner and persuaded him to put her up since his mother Elsie was away at the time. Rita's stay was short. Charlie Moffatt came through the ceiling of Elsie's room and she wasn't seen again for many years.

She took up with construction worker Harry Bates in 1968 and agreed to move in with him and look after his two young children, Terry and Gail. She lived there for 4 years and carried on working until she met Terry's teacher in 1972, Ken Barlow. When she was upset with Ken for not being interested in her, she turned her attention to Len Fairclough, then a Councillor, with the plan of getting them all a better house. Harry became increasingly jealous and hit her after discovering their affair, swiftly followed by throwing her out. But Len ended the relationship after receiving a warning from the Mayor despite going to see Harry afterwards and hitting him on Rita's behalf. Rita disappeared for several months and Len, Elsie and her husband Alan Howard were surprised to see her on a night out at a club under the name Rita Littlewood. Elsie clearly disapproved of Len having anything to do with Rita but he didn't listen. She then became engaged after giving up on Len to bookie Benny Lewis. But Len finally declared his feelings and she dumped Benny for Len.

In 1973 Len bought Biddulphs newsagent with the intention of running his own and asked Rita if she'd like to manage it for him. They also became engaged but that was broken off in 1974 when she suspected Len was being unfaithful. She continued running The Kabin, as Biddulphs had been renamed, singing in nightclubs and stayed friends with Len and even had a disasterous relationship with the married estate agent Jimmy Graham, who refused to leave his wife for her.

A young Rita with Alf Roberts

As 1977 began, she and Len grew closer and after he had been impressed by the way she comforted Ken after he had discovered his second wife Janet had committed suicide while staying over. Rita was still finding his lack of commitment frustrating and announced she had been offered a 4-month job in Tenerife with the possibilty of never returning to Weatherfield. He proposed but she told him it was three years too late. She resigned as manager of The Kabin and had a leaving party. She reluctantly agreed to letting him drive her to the airport where they talked and she decided to give up her dream job to become Mrs Fairclough. Her agent was furious and decided to sue. Len paid him off and he and Rita set about making their wedding plans. On the 20th April they finally married and she moved in to number 9 Coronation Street amid promises of a better life and a new house. During the first couple of years of their marriage, Rita's frustration grew more as Len took her for granted, did nothing with the house and had no intention of moving. He also voiced his disapproval of young Terry Bates visiting her and her putting him up. She left him in January 1980, taking a room in a bed and breakfast. Len found her and they argued about a man she'd been seeing platonically, resulting in him slapping her. She disappeared again until Len found out the following month she was in Blackpool working in a launderette. He drove up to persuade her to go back to him but she was adamant she was staying put. Len went home desolate and was surprised when he heard the front door open and saw her standing in the lobby. Things continued pretty much the same until 1981 when Rita decided she wanted to adopt a baby. Len, considering their ages and the mess he'd made of his own son's upbringing, was none too keen. She persuaded him to try the adoption process but were told they were too old which broke Rita's heart. So they decided to give fostering a go and took in John Spencer, a 13-year-old, while his mother was in hospital. That was deemed successful so they were then given 16-year-old Sharon Gaskell the following year who caused no end of trouble between Gail and Brian Tilsley. Meanwhile, Len had been granted planning permission to rebuild and sell number 7. Rita decided that would be her new home as it was much better than her current one. Len stood firm and said it was being sold but she and Sharon won him round and they moved in. In 1983 Rita's world collapsed on the night of the 7th December when, after singing at the Ogden's ruby wedding, was told Len had died in a car crash on his way home from Bolton. After the funeral she was clearing out his pockets when she came across an address of one Marjorie Proctor who Len had been having an affair with. She went round to confront Marjorie but after seeing how upset she was at Len's death too left in peace. But Rita vowed never to sing publicly again. The following year Bet's boyfriend, police sergeant Tony Cunliffe, took a shine to Rita much to Bet's annoyance. He dumped Bet, determined to pursue Rita. But Rita wasn't ready and told him. Even Alf Roberts proposed and she told him much the same thing.

Alan Brqadley

January 1986 changed her life forever. A papergirl, Jenny Bradley, lost her mother suddenly and had no one to look after her as her aunt didn't want the girl. Rita was asked by her old social worker, Don Worthington, if she could take her in until they had tracked down Jenny's father. Rita agreed, assured it was only temporary. A few weeks later Rita was informed they had found Alan Bradley in Leeds and he was coming over. As Jenny was aloof towards him, he and Rita got closer and started to see each other. Jenny became jealous and accused Rita of trying to take her father away from her. Alan took Jenny's side when was being difficult which created more tension. When Alan found a flat, Jenny immediately went to live with him leaving Rita to feel like a failure. Alan and Rita continued seeing each other and he got into a fight with Terry Duckworth after he had said some things about Jenny. Rita was appalled as it reminded her of Len, but the next day Alan explained he was on a 2-year suspended sentence for hitting someone and that time wasn't up yet. She forgave him but he then started an affair with Rovers barmaid, Gloria Todd who lived across the hall. Jenny was delighted about this as she preferred Gloria to Rita. After the Rovers burned down, Gloria got a job as barmaid in the Graffiti Club, now owned by Alec Gilroy, Rita's old agent. Gloria managed to get Jenny an audition with him. He had been impressed and offered to sign her up much to Rita's fury. She warned Alan what Alec was like and how she had been old enough to take care of herself but Jenny wasn't. Alan put his foot down to Jenny which made her resent Rita even more. Gloria went to see her at the shop and casually informed her that she was messing up her relationship with Alan. Rita was heartbroken. It had taken a lot to get involved with him and let him stay over and now she was being two-timed again by someone she loved and trusted. She and Alan had been invited to a dinner party at Mike and Susan Baldwin's but Rita was edgy and kept making barbed comments. In the car she told him his games were over and it was finished between them. The following day when Gloria saw Rita again, Rita told her she'd been seeing Alan as well. Gloria was upset and dumped him before going away. Mike and Susan engineered a dinner party and invited the pair of them. Alan told Rita he had chosen Rita over Gloria and she believed him. Jenny was the only one unhappy at the news, even more so when they planned a holiday in Jersey until Rita talked to her and said they would share a room and Alan would be on his own. A couple of months later, Alan became elusive again and Rita was worried he was seeing someone else. She decided to confront him, sure Jenny knew something like last time but wasn't saying. He finally admitted he had been made redundant much to her relief. He took a job in Dubai for 3 months, leaving Rita to look after Jenny again while he was gone. At the end of the year, Rita reluctantly agreed to let Martin Platt borrow her car to take Jenny to a singing competition in Rochdale but was horrifed when the car crashed. Martin was unconscious while Jenny had just cuts and bruises. She tried to get to the bottom of what happened but before she could, Alan arrived back. After much arguing, Jenny finally confessed she was driving that night and not Martin, who had tried to stop her. Alan took them down to the police station and bought Rita a new car. After she turned down his marriage proposal, saying she never wanted to get married again, he turned nasty, saying he thought at her age she wouldn't be so fussy. The following day he told Mavis he was returning to Dubai and for her to check with Rita it was still all right for her to look after Jenny. Her heckles rising at the cheek of the man, she went round to where Alan was staying where she explained why she didn't want to get married. He agreed to move into her house then set about modernising The Kabin, much to Mavis's annoyance to the point she quit for a while, and started a video library to replace the records. He still wanted to marry Rita but knew what the answer would be so Jenny talked him into arranging a surprise wedding that August. When they turned up at the registry office and saw Mavis, Jenny as well as Alf and Audrey Roberts, Rita demaded to know what was going on. Alan told her this was their wedding. Furious, she got back into the taxi and went home. After another argument, they made up. Alan then got job with a friend installing burglar alarms. But then he kept disappearing and Rita discovered Alan had been working on his own and stealing the clients. Alan explained he wanted to set up on his own. He talked her into lending him £6000 to buy equipment, only instead he bought a second-hand car. Rita was angry again. Her suspicions were aroused he was after more money when he announced he needed £1000 to buy some alarms. She refused to lend him any more after that business with the car. He then persuaded her to let him use Len's old yard as his base, but craftily returned the key afterwards, saying it was pointless having premises with no alarms so she made out another cheque for £1000 as a gift, saying if she ever needed a burglar alarm he could put one in for free. His business went from strength to strength during 1988 and everything in the garden seemed rosy except Alan was seeing one of his former clients, Carole Burns. Jenny was shocked when she found out from Martin and did everything she could to get her dad to stop ruining his relationship with Rita but he refused. When Rita found out, Alan again turned nasty verbally and he walked out. Jenny blamed Rita for not making him stay. Things got worse when she demanded the yard back as well as all the £6000. He went around telling everyone who would listen he owed Rita nothing because she'd given him nothing and she was just being greedy and spiteful. Jenny didn't help matters by lying to Rita about his living arrangements, saying he was on his own when he wasn't but after several weeks got his own place, telling Carole it was for Jenny's sake. Mavis and Derek did their best to matchmake as Alan was meant to be Derek's best man that November but all attempts failed. At the wedding, Rita got increasingly drunk and constantly looked towards the door in the hope Alan had changed his mind. Shortly afterwards, Rita summoned up the courage to see him and ask him to go back to her. Despite her begging and tears, Alan was hard-hearted and Rita left humiliated. Alan then talked to Carole about his plans for a shop and she made it perfectly clear she wouldn't lend him any money. That night he turned up on Rita's doorstep and both she and Jenny were pleased to see him. The following month he borrowed the deeds to the house, got them photocopied and applied for a £15,000 loan posing as Len Fairclough so he could buy his shop. At the opening, Carole Burns turned up and created a scene with Rita, saying he had only gone back to her for her money. Everything seemed rosy again with Rita ignorant to the fact Alan's eye was wandering again which would have serious consequences. After assaulting his employee, Dawn Prescott, she fled, returning the next day with her friend. Alan denied trying to rape her and Dawn threatened to tell Rita about him. He got to Rita first, saying he had to sack Dawn for being a terrible employee. Dawn arrived at The Kabin as it was about to close and told Rita what happened. Rita didn't believe her but her curiosity was aroused when Dawn mentioned having seen letters addressed to Leonard Fairclough in Alan's desk. She decided to do a bit of investigating. After Alan told her how snowed under they were, he refused her offer to look after the shop so he and Martin could be out working. But Rita went anyway and relieved Martin. As soon as he was gone, she began to search the office and her heart sunk when she saw it all in black and white what Alan had done. Meanwhile Martin turned up where Alan was, told him Rita was at the shop and Alan raced back. Rita, on hearing a car, hurriedly put everything back where it was and went to greet him breathless. He made an excuse about forgetting some plans in his briefcase and checked to see if the keys were still there, kissed her then left. Soon afterwards she went to the building society about it. She was distraught and they said they'd look into it. When she arrived home, she got out her biscuit tin and for a split second assumed she'd made a mistake when she saw the deeds until she realised they were only photocopies. A couple of days later it was the party for Jenny's 18th birthday. However, no matter how hard she tried, she couldn't stop thinking about what he had done. As she was holding the photocopies, he stood into the doorway. He knew he was caught out and tried to worm his way out of it by blaming her for never having any faith in him and not wanting them to marry. But when she told him she'd told the building society, he saw red and lunged at her as she answered the phone. Jenny and Martin sped to the house after Jenny had heard screams on the phone and walked in on Alan with the cushion over Rita's face. He ran, got into his car and drove off. Rita survived but was battered in pride as well. Jenny tried helping her dad get out of the country but the police had been following her and after a chase, arrested him. He blamed Jenny for betraying him. Rita was terrified of being on her own and turned to drink. Jenny continued lying to her, even about visiting her dad in prison. She had finally seen through him after all he thought about was how hard done to he'd been and never even asked how she was, though that wasn't to last long. At his trial, the police thought Rita a hostile witness so talked to the defence about Alan changing his plea to guilty for assault. He got 2 years, 1 year of that suspended, and was a free man. Jenny was delighted. Rita was terrified. Once free, he paid his first visit to Rita who was alone in the house. He was as calm as anything as he mentally tortured her and he only left when there was a knock at the door. He made his way to see Jenny and told her how he was willing to forgive but Rita wouldn't let it go. Jenny, desperate to keep her dad, believed every word he told her and started to take sides. Things became worse for Rita after he took a job as a labourer on the building site opposite. He began to stalk her and made certain they couldn't trace anything back to him. Even Rita's friends began to think she was obsessed with Alan, since he was being a model citizen, and turned against her. When The Kabin was broken into and videos stolen, Rita immediately blamed Alan since he'd told her he wanted compensation for them. Alan was arrested and Rita was none too happy when it turned out to be two kids. Her drinking increased, friends were rapidly deserting her but at least she still had Jenny. Alan's plans were working but he had one more up his sleeve to deliver a final blow which would leave her alone and vulnerable. He sneaked off the site and let himself in through the back door. When Rita returned and saw the biscuit tin on the dining table open, she panicked and ran for help. She waited in Don Brennan's taxi until the police arrived. Despite going over the house, they found no sign of a forced entry but did note the alcohol on her breath. Alan was questioned but his workmates said he'd never left the site. When Jenny returned she was furious, packed and left. Rita was devastated and as she looked out of the window, spotted Alan smirking across the road. Everyone began to worry when Rita disappeared. Alan was accused of murdering her and burying her body on the site, resulting in it being dug up and him being sacked for all the disruption he kept causing. Alan hated Rita more than ever. Alec Gilroy was surprised to get a phone call from an old friend of his in Blackpool a few weeks later, Cyril Partridge, mentioning a woman singer staying at his hotel calling herself Rita Littlewood. Bet and Alec went to Blackpool and sure enough, it was Rita, only she had blanked out the past few years and believed Len was still alive. The following day Alec returned to Weatherfield while Bet decided to take Rita to the hospital to get her some help. While Bet was explaining things to the nurse, Rita left. Bet phoned Alec and told him he could tell everyone that Rita was alive. Alec went to see Jenny with the news and she insisted he personally tell Alan. Alan's hatred of Rita intensified on hearing the news and he drove to Blackpool to confront her. When he arrived at the hotel, he found Bet in Rita's room which threw him. Bet told him that Rita had gone again so he furiously went back to his car. Bet told Cyril to call the police. As Alan was about to start the car, he spotted Rita innocently walking towards the hotel. He got out and Rita's memory returned when she looked up at the person blocking her way. Bet watched from the window helpless while Alan dragged Rita round the car and pushed her inside. As he went round to the driver's side, she got out and ran across the road. He chased after her and was hit by a tram, killing him instantly. Jenny blamed Rita for Alan's death and didn't want anything to do with her. They eventually made up in 1990 and Rita decided to sell The Kabin in Rosamund Street and relocate to the shop in Coronation Street, also taking the flat above and renting the house to Jenny and her friend Felicity Khan. For the next couple of years Rita enjoyed a fairly quiet life with only Reg Holdsworth to fend off.

Then in February 1992 sweet salesman Ted Sullivan announced he was retiring. He and Rita became close after two burglaries at the shop and she fell in love with him. He talked about moving to Florida and asked her to go with him as his wife. Rita left Mavis and Derek Wilton in charge of the shop while they went away for a fortnight to look at properties as a dry run before buying it from her. But on their return he told her he had a brain tumour and was going to die. Rita's world was turned upside down again and Ted left her to think about their future, saying he understood if she decided it was over. After some considerable thought, she went to see him, telling him she would marry him but Florida was out of the question. Although retiring there had always been his dream, he reluctantly agreed to living at Rita's flat where she would be surrounded by her friends for when she needed them. Rita then had to tell Mavis and Derek the sale was off, though still intended to sell her house. She desperately wanted to explain why but Ted asked her not to. Mavis and Derek were naturally upset and angry and didn't want to speak to her. But Rita was never one to give up on a friendship and, after managing to avoid Derek, suggested to Mavis that she and Derek still ran it but with Mavis as manager. Mavis accepted the offer but Derek wasn't happy since he'd turned down a well-paid job to own the shop. By now, Alf and Derek were getting suspicious of Ted's motives for marrying Rita, which Reg had already expressed by doing some digging into Ted's past. On Rita's hen night, she broke down in front of Audrey after she said she and Alf had bought them a life membership to the National Trust. She begged Audrey not to say anything and she promised. Rita and Ted's wedding day on the 5th June wasn't without its hitches. First Rita had to sort out the till for Derek, who had refused to attend the wedding but after some persuading from Bet went. Then Curly Watts tried to get her to sell him her house for less. She agreed to knock a couple of thousand off and returned to Ted who was having difficulties. After a test to pick up her engagement ring, Rita insisted they went to the hospital. Once there, they were told the news Ted had a few months or a few years left. He gave her the choice to back out but she didn't and they married. After the honeymoon even Bet turned against Ted much to Rita's annoyance. But Audrey, fed up with Alf and Reg's constant criticism of the man and accusing him of marrying Rita for her money, blurted out the truth to Alf, who in turn, told Reg that Ted was ill. When Reg made barbed comments in the pub about his illness, Ted stormed out. As Alf and Audrey knew, it was time to tell Mavis and Derek. Peace was restored between them. Gradually Ted became irritable and was even picked up by the police who thought he was drunk and taken to hospital. His health declined and Rita became really upset when he lapsed into the past as spoke to her as though she were his first wife. But things seemed to be going fine on the 9th September when they went to Percy Sugden's bowls match. Ted complained of feeling hot so went to a bench in the shade. After the game ended, Rita went to wake him only to find he was dead. At the reading of the will, which left the majority in Rita's favour, her brother-in-law accused her of money-grabbing and threatened to take her to court. After a long, drawn-out battle, things were settled and Rita won, though she felt Ted's memory had been sullied by it all.

Jenny Bradley made a surprise visit in 1993 which delighted her. But things turned sour after Jenny learned of Rita's inheritance and asked to borrow £30,000. Rita gave her £1000 and told her she never wanted to see her again. The following year, after getting close to Kevin and Sally Webster, she became an adopted grandmother to Rosie and Sophie which worked out fine for a few years until Sally accused her of trying to by herself a family. She also found she was defending herself against Mavis's jealousy when an artist friend of Mavis took a shine to Rita and wanted to paint her portrait. Mavis, who had already had hers done by Roger Crompton and it had been displayed in the library, told him Rita was a man-eater.

In 1995 she fell out with her old friend Bet after deciding against buying the Rovers for her to run. Things were fairly quiet for a few years apart from a proposal of marriage by Fred Elliott in 1996 until he tried saving face by claiming he was a womaniser. October 1997 and Mavis left for a new life in Cartmel after Derek's death. She was upset Rita had backed out of buying the guest house together but they remained friends. She hired Leanne Battersby who was a great help to Rita over the months. After a new gas fire was badly installed by Steve McDonald, Rita was eventually overcome by carbon monoxide fumes and collapsed in her flat. She was distraught at what was happening to her memory, even to the point of leaving the keys in the shop door. Alec Gilroy, now living next door wanted Steve charged but Rita decided to put it down to experience. He suggested connecting doors so he could keep an eye on her easier which generated much gossip. They became close as she recovered to the point they planned to get married. But Rita had second thoughts after realising they didn't trust each other and broke it off.

She was over the moon in 1999 when Sharon Gaskell walked into the shop and announced she was getting married. However, Rita discovered Sharon's fiancé Ian was also seeing Natalie Barnes. She told Sharon who refused to cancel the wedding but realisation of the betrayal hit her at the altar and she attacked Ian. Rita, as always, was there to pick up the pieces. Ignoring advice, she gave the shop to Sharon as a birthday present and retired. Leanne was sacked, accused of stealing. Sharon attempted suicide after being dumped for Sally by Danny Hargreaves but called Ian. He dashed to her side and they realised the still loved each other. Rita was betrayed by yet another woman she regarded as a daughter when Sharon announced she and Ian had secretly married and she was selling the shop to buy a house in Bolton. Fearing what all her hard work would turn into, she was forced to buy it back and told Sharon she never wanted to see her again. She hired Blanche Hunt as her assistant but she drove her to despair and she sacked her after a week. Norris Cole was hired in her place.

In 2000, not only did The Kabin undergo changes at Norris's suggestion to include a Post Office, but Rita, on a quest to trace her family tree, met bookshop owner Anthony Stephens and began an affair with him. She was devastated to find out he had a wife already, but she was in a home suffering Alzheimer's disease. Much to Anthony's daughter's chagrin, Rita and Anthony continued seeing each other. His wife died and he decided to go to New Zealand to visit his sister, asking Rita to go with him. She refused.

Rita decided to go on a 70th birthday drive with Betty, Blanche and Emily in 2002, though wouldn't tell anyone her age. Things were going fine until they stopped to help a broken down driver who turned out to be a robber and held them at gunpoint. Emily, remembering her husband Ernest's death, collapsed in shock. Rita and the pensioners managed to overcome him but got a ticking off from the police. Bet Gilroy also made a reappearance that year. Rita decided to make the first move towards patching up their friendship but it turned sour. Fred hired Lillian Spencer to manage the Rovers. After Norris was banned for wearing a tracksuit while training for his role as a Commonwealth Games official, Rita went to his defence and found herself barred. After Lillian left, Fred had to do a bit of grovelling to get his customers back. Richard Hillman made her an offer she declined eventually to invest some of her money for a high turnover. He wasn't very happy and blamed Norris. But Rita had to grovel herself when Norris's accusations levelled against Richard were proved to be correct.

Rita led a quiet life despite regular arguments with Steve and Karen McDonald over the years, even once being so fed up with them keeping her awake, she resorted to playing loud classical music in revenge. Karen clearly hated her but that all changed after Joe Carter used her and ruined her life. Rita was worried and went to see her. Karen at first was hostile but then warmed to her neighbour as she gave her advice and comforted her. But Karen had made up her mind to leave for good, though they had become friends. Rita was sad to see her leave but accepted her decision. She was delighted when Steve finally tracked his wife down and broguth her home.

Things started to go wrong for Rita again when Cilla Brown came into her life towards the end of 2003

Rita thougth about leaving Weatherfield in February 2004

Things really started to go wrong towards the end of 2003 when kids kept kicking their ball against the garage, were generally abusive and stealing. Then the following January, while being dared to steal, Chesney Brown was caught. As Rita grabbed him he tripped, hit his head and went back to Les's. She went to see Les afterwards to check Chesney was all right and explained what happened. Les said she was right and everything was fine.

Rita gives Chesney a clip around the ear

However, once Chesney's evil mother Cilla had been told of the events, pound signs popped in front of her eyes and she decided to sue Rita. She had already had a run-in with Cilla the day before when Chesney kicked the ball and it smashed one of the shop windows. First Chesney was taken to hospital where he exaggerated his injuries. Cilla, Les and Chesney saw an ambulance-chasing lawyer who informed them the most they were likely to get was £500. Cilla wasn't happy with that and wanted more.

So the police were called and Rita was arrested but given bail. She caused public scenes, making out she was a caring mother while Rita was an evil old woman who took pleasure hitting children. Secretly she would visit Rita offering to drop the charges if she paid her £5000. She considered it until she heard about Chesney saying he was going to Florida. As some of her friends turned against her, she became a reclusive wreck. Audrey and Norris did their best to buck her up but she was too depressed at her spotless reputation being ruined by lies. In court, she was found guilty and ordered to pay £500 costs and £500 compensation. Rita let her temper overtake her at the injustice of it all and Chesney's obvious coaching and was sentenced to one night in the cells for contempt of court.

Cilla felt humiliated when she was arrested

Cilla suggested Rita pay her £3000 instead and she wouldn't take her to a civil court. Rita told her to get out of the shop and decided to sell up and move away. Norris planned to buy her out but at the last minute Les persuaded Cilla to drop it all and Rita stayed. Things were fairly quiet again despite Norris being convinced the shop was haunted. Rita tried to get him to shut up, but he became more obsessed when Emily informed him Vera Lomax, the daughter of Ena Sharples, died in the vestry when the Glad Tidings Mission stood on the site in the 1960s of a brain tumour. Rita, rather out of character, made a joke about maybe Vera wanted an aspirin. Norris decided to hold a seance in the stock room and Rita, Blanche and Betty attended. Everyone jumped when a box fell off a shelf and Norris accused Rita of trickery. After Mike goes to get his own cigars since they are too scared to go out the back, he tells her there's a funny smell and should get it looked at so she decided to call in Charlie the builder to have a look and mocked Norris when it turned out to be rising damp and the wall cracking. A month later, Blanche managed to wear her down and she agreed to protest about the council's plans to erect a memorial fountain to Alf Roberts. Audrey was none too happy, thinking it a betrayal by Alf's friends, especially Rita who Alf thought so much of. And despite Rita saying it was nothing to do with Alf but it being paid for by council tax rises and put somewhere no one except council works would see it, Audrey was still angry with them but eventually relented.

Rula, Norris and Rita

Towards the end of September, Rita's old friend from her nightclub days, the very glamorous Rula Romanoff, tunred up looking for her in the shop. She and Norris were invited to a fancy restaurant for dinner where they met Rula's husband Bernie. She vehemently denied any goings on with her employee. The following weekend they went to Rula's house. Rita and Rula traded polite insults at the dinner table before singing a duet. Rita and Norris retired to bed while the other guests stayed up a while longer. While she was asleep, Bernie crept into her room and bed. Rita woke up with a scream. Bernie was surprised at her reaction, thinking she knew it was a wife swapping party. Rita was insulted and angry and chased him out of the room by hitting him with a pillow.

Rita, Norris and Rula

When she went to find Norris, she discovered he was in Rula's room. She demanded he got dressed as they were going home. After she pulled up outside Emily's they agreed never to mention it again. Rita was not happy when Norris told her he had been telling people the reason they were home early was because she hadn't been well, but went along with it anyway as they made barbed comments to each other as Rita told Audrey they knew no one else would understand.

In October she finally appeared at a booze-up! She accompanied Mike to Dev and Sunita's sangeet in the Rovers and was not impressed by his, "Women!" remark as Shelley threw Maya out.

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