Former Coronation Street star Amanda Barrie has announced her engagement to her female partner.

The retired actress, 78, is best known for her role as Alma Halliwell on the soap, with her appearances spanning two decades, from 1981 to 2001.

Barrie, who came out as bisexual in 2002, was previously married to theatre director Robin Hunter until his death in 2004.

She announced today that she will wed 66-year-old crime novelist Hilary Bonner, with whom she lives in Somerset.

She joked to the Sun: “As our combined ages will be 144 at the time of this cosmic event, we felt we might be cutting it a bit fine if we left it much longer.

“In any case, our dog was feeling insecure.”

Gay Coronation Street actor Charlie Condou is due to depart the soap later this month, previously teasing that his impending exit “will certainly be explosive”.

Coronation Street’s first transgender character, Hayley Cropper, was written out of the show earlier this year, after 16 years.