Coronation Street has begun a 60-day countdown to its 60th anniversary.
The programme, the world’s longest-running TV soap according to Guinness World Records, will celebrate the milestone on December 9.
ITV will air special shows, publish an anniversary book and launch new products in the run-up, while the Coronation Street social media channels will feature messages from famous fans, charities, cast members and viewers.
Joanna Lumley features in the first congratulatory message played on Sunday.
The anniversary week will see three storylines reach their conclusions while triggering events that will take the show into 2021.
The residents of Coronation Street will unite to save the cobbles from Ray Crosby (played by Mark Frost), who has bought most of the property and businesses in the area and is ready to flatten them to make way for a new development
Following months of abuse inflicted by Geoff Metcalfe (Ian Bartholomew) upon his wife Yasmeen (Shelley King), she will be on remand charged with his attempted murder.
The anniversary week will see the end of her trial.
Meanwhile, two characters will battle to keep a secret that will ruin their lives and those around them.
Coronation Street debuted on ITV on December 9 1960, the creation of Salford-born writer Tony Warren.
Since then, the soap has aired more than 10,000 episodes and has seen 57 births, 146 deaths and 131 weddings.
In September 2010, Coronation Street was recognised as the world’s longest-running soap and was listed in the Guinness World Records.