Coronation Street fans ecstatic as two iconic characters make emotional returns

In tonight's Coronation Street, celebrations were in order as Ken Barlow (Bill Roache) turned 80 years old.

The iconic Corrie character was in good spirits – that would soon sour when he received bad news – and his mood was heightened by a visit from two pals.

Ken arrived at his party in the Rovers and was greeted by Norris Cole (Malcolm Hebden), who had dropped in for a flying visit "to see his chiropodist".

But Norris confessed he wasn't alone, as he'd digitally brought along Emily Bishop (Eileen Derbyshire), who hasn't been seen on the soap since 2016.

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Ken was delighted to be virtually reunited with his old friend, who said: "Happy birthday, Kenneth! I wish I could be with you in person.

"You keep threatening to visit me in Edinburgh. When are you going to do it?"

She cheekily added: "Look sharp, you're no spring chicken!"

Ken pointed out it was Emily's 90th birthday next week, saying: "I shall be picking your brain."

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Soon, he was ushered away to await the arrival of Sinead (Katie McGlynn), with Ken noting: "That was lovely, wasn't it?"

And fans were just as happy to have Emily and Norris back on their screens.

One tweeted: "So pleased to see Norris back and nice to see Emily appear, shame it's not permanent returns."

A second said: "Catching up on tonight's Corrie. Great to see Emily back on the street even if only in internet form."

Another wrote: "Loved seeing Emily Bishop tonight, albeit via Skypa. Eileen Derbyshire looks really well and hope she's enjoying her time away."

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A fourth added: "Ooh Emily. How lovely to see her. And Norris too obviously. Nostalgic."

And someone else joked: "Who needs a stripper when you get a surprise visit from Norris and a FaceTime from Emily on Corrie?"

However one fan moaned: "Unnecessary for Emily Bishop to make a cameo, either bring her back or write her out."

Sadly, things turned from celebration to mourning when Sinead revealed doctors had told her she had just weeks to live.

Ken broke down in tears as he said a monologue that played over scenes showing other characters crying too.

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