Coronation Street royalty Suranne Jones and Sarah Lancashire are to be brought together on the cobbles to mark the soap’s 60th anniversary.
Famous female faces from the record breaking ITV show’s past will star in a Queens of the Street special next year.
Actresses including Julie Goodyear, 77, Michelle Keegan , 32, and Amanda Barrie, 83, will feature as the show looks at their highlights and finds out where they are now.
But Suranne and Sarah will get top billing after securing their slots among Britain’s biggest TV stars.
Suranne, 40 – Weatherfield’s fiery maneater Karen McDonald from 2000 to 2004 – has won acclaim playing feisty Victorian lesbian Anne Lister in new BBC drama Gentleman Jack.
Before that she landed a best actress Bafta for her portrayal of vengeful wife and GP Gemma in BBC1 drama Doctor Foster.
Sarah Lancashire, 54, ditsy Rovers Return barmaid Raquel Watts from 1991 to 1996, has twice won the award – for comedy drama Last Tango in Halifax and as a cop in Yorkshire crime thriller Happy Valley.
“It’s Corrie’s 60th birthday next year so ITV are planning some special shows to celebrate the landmark,” a source said revealed.
“The show launched the careers of some of the biggest stars on TV – especially the likes of Suranne and Sarah. It’ll be a real celebration of all those women we’ve seen in the Rovers Return.”
The 60-minute Queens of the Street show is to be made by production company Spun Gold TV, say insiders.
It has worked with ITV on Royal documentaries in the past.
Coronation Street first aired on December 9 1960.
Created by scriptwriter Tony Warren at Manchester’s Granada TV, the idea was rejected at first by boss Sidney Bernstein.
But he was persuaded to do 13 pilot episodes – and six months later it was the most watched programme on British television.
On its 50th anniversary in 2010, Corrie entered Guinness World Records as the longest running soap opera in history.
Bill Roache, 87 – who has played Ken Barlow since episode one – also became the world’s longest-serving soap actor.
And the show still averages 8million viewers per episode.
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