Carla Connor set for Christmas return to Coronation Street
Fiery former factory boss Carla Connor is to return to Coronation Street just over 18 months after her departure.
The sultry soap queen, played by Alison King, will be back on the cobbles on December 22 as she returns to help the street's knicker business.
King quit Weatherfield after a decade in May 2016 to spend more time with her daughter as her character opted for a new life in Devon following a tempestuous reign at the Underworld factory.
Following the announcement, King said returning to her role as Carla was like "pulling on an old sock or an old pair of stiletto boots".
"I got butterflies from excitement about seeing everyone but not from nerves," King said.
"It was so lovely, like I had never been away and I was happy I made the decision to return. I've known for a good few months that I was coming back so I was pleased to be finally with everyone again."
Carla will initially reject her brother Aidan's request to help with the factory but soon changes her mind as the family gather for Christmas.
King said she would also be returning with a secret meaning a "more vulnerable Carla" would be on show.
But she vowed her character's eyebrow-raising dress sense would be pretty much the same.
She said: "She's a bit more relaxed for the Christmas episodes but other than that she's still the classic Carla of old.
"The heels are a touch lower though, after months not having to wear the heels I didn't want to be tottering around the cobbles in heels quite as high as I used to."
King revealed she rejected shows such as Strictly Come Dancing during her time off and was motivated to return following the appointment of Kate Oates as producer of the ITV soap.
She said: "Once Kate had started as producer I met up with her and said that I would be happy to come back a bit earlier than I had originally discussed.
"I had said I would maybe have a two-year break but I felt ready to come back. I didn't feel like I wanted to go anywhere else."
Asked if a romance was on the cards for Carla, King replied: "There is someone she has a little fling with, but she is a bit like a cat with a mouse playing with him.
"It is something to do, it is not a big romance, and she also has another agenda for setting her sights on this person."
King will return to screens on December 22.