Coronation Street actress Maggie Jones is seriously ill in hospital after major surgery. Maggie, 75, who plays battle-axe Blanche Hunt in the ITV soap, had an operation on Saturday and remains in hospital in Salford, Greater Manchester.
She is said to be "seriously ill" but no details are being released on the type of operation, although the actress did not rupture her spleen in a fall, as has previously been reported, a spokeswoman said.
Maggie, who is a widow, has been written out of all immediate scenes, the spokeswoman added.
"We are all hoping and wishing the best for Maggie, who is much loved by everyone at Coronation Street," she said.
She was ruled out of filming for several weeks last April when she hurt her knee and shoulder during a fall.
Famous for her withering put-downs and trademark scowl, Blanche is one of the show's most popular characters.
The veteran actress, who trained at Rada, won a gong for Best Comedy Performance at the British Soap Awards in 2005 and 2008 for the role.
Fellow Coronation Street veteran Bill Tarmey, who plays Jack Duckworth, said his thoughts were with the actress. He said: "My beautiful Maggie. She is a delight, she is wonderful and I am just hoping she will be OK.
"We just sit and laugh together and I need her to get better otherwise I will be sitting on my own."