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On-screen funeral for Corrie's Blanche

Coronation Street's much-loved Blanche Hunt will be given an on-screen funeral later this year, the soap's producer has said.

Kim Crowther promised that Weatherfield battle-axe Blanche, played by the late Maggie Jones, will be given a "fitting send-off".

Jones died in hospital last month at the age of 75 after a period of ill health.

Ms Crowther told ITV1's This Morning: "We will be giving the character a fitting send-off. We play her funeral on screen. Our characters say goodbye to the character and I think it will be touching and moving, and funny as well, and also have all the elements it should have." The producer said the soap's cast and crew "miss Maggie greatly".

"She was a wonderful character and a real professional and fantastic to have on the show.

"Also, the character of Blanche was unforgettable and everybody loved her. And she came out with the lines you couldn't give anybody else. She was brilliant at comic one-liners."

The screen funeral will also see the return of Blanche's granddaughter Tracy Barlow (Kate Ford), who is in prison for murder, Ms Crowther said.

A funeral was held for Jones in London last month, and a memorial service is to take place at Salford Cathedral on February 25.

"We will pay tribute to Maggie personally then," Ms Crowther added.

Blanche's absence from screens has so far been explained by an extended break in Portugal with a friend.