Coronation Street insist they’re delighted with the reaction to Michelle Collins’ arrival on Coronation Street.

A spokeswoman said, in response to reports her character Stella will be killed off: “Michelle Collins is a valued member of the Corrie cast and we have fantastic storylines ahead for her character well into next year. It is totally untrue to say that we are considering killing her character off at Christmas.”

According to the Sun, Coronation Street pub landlady Stella could be left fighting for life in a new storyline which sees her being knocked down by a drunk Carla Connor.

The Weatherfield newcomer and long-lost mum of Leanne Barlow would be injured after Carla drunkenly drives her car into Barlow’s Bookies.

Former EastEnders star Michelle has faced some criticism from viewers for her Northern accent since she joined the soap last month, and ratings have reportedly slumped recently.

A source told the newspaper: “This storyline is Michelle’s last chance to win viewers over… Stella will be rushed to hospital and Leanne will realise she wants her mum to live and for them to have a relationship.

“If that doesn’t get the figures up, there is no hope for her and they will kill her off at Christmas.”

The Coronation Street spokeswoman for the soap said: “We don’t comment on upcoming storylines.”

But she added: “It’s totally inaccurate and misinformed to suggest the programme has dropped a quarter of its audience since May. In fact ratings for the first six months of 2011 are up year on year. We have also been the number one show across all channels more than any other programme so far this year.”