Coronation Street will be on seven times next week in a dramatic week for the soap

Coronation Street viewers have an early Christmas treat next week as the soap will be on seven times as Alison King makes her long awaited return to the cobbles as Carla Connor.

The action kicks off with a double bill on Monday, then a Wednesday double bill, then one episode on Thursday and then a double helping on Friday.

The “bonus” Thursday episode, which is on at 8.30pm, will see Peter and Billy embroiled in a courtroom drama which spirals into Billy making a shock confession to Peter.

Carla Connor, Aidan Connor, Steve McDonald, Tracy Barlow

It makes Thursday 21st December a monster night for soap fans starting with Hollyoaks at 6.30pm on C4, then the first episode of Emmerdale on that evening at 7.00pm on ITV, then EastEnders at 7.30pm on BBC1, then the second Emmerdale episode at 8.00pm, and then Corrie at 8.30pm – phew everyone will need a tea break after that!

ITV only went to screening six episodes a week in September, which they launched with the double wedding of Eva Price and Aidan Connor, and Jenny Bradley and Johnny Connor.

Coronation Street originally went out just twice a week when it started on 9th December 1960. It then went to three episodes a week in October 1989 before adding a fourth weekly episode in November 1996. The addition of a fifth episode was made in October 2002.

Coronation Street is on tonight on ITV at 7.30pm and 8.30pm.