Published Thursday, 03 October 2013
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"I say to people don't retire because you become unravelled," she told them.
"(Working on Coronation Street,) you go home at night and you learn your lines and then you go in the following day and, we don't have rehearsals, so you are on your toes.
"And if you haven't done your prep work, it's very difficult.
"But it is wonderful to keep using your brain and even the stimulus of going in there and something has gone wrong - it keeps you going."
Barbara first appeared in the iconic show in 1964, staying for only two episodes.
The actress was asked back again in 1971 and was told by the show's producers that they would again only need her for two episodes, but she has remained ever since.
During her years on the famous cobbles, Rita has received 11 marriage proposals, but has only been married three times, most recently to long time love Denis Tanner, played by Phillip Lowie.
Reminiscing about her return to the soap in 1971, Barbara admitted she was nervous to be in the presence of some of Weatherfield's iconic figures.
"I lost my voice and all I could see was Pat Phoenix (Elsie Tanner) and Doris Speed (Annie Walker) and they were Gods in those days.
"To go in there (on Monday) and see these people - by Wednesday I was absolutely voiceless and it was pure nerves.
"They were a little grand, but it was overwhelming quite honestly."
Coronation Street is on UTV on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 7.30pm.
This Morning is on UTV weekdays from 10.30am.
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