The actress who plays Corrie veteran Deirdre Barlow has become the highest paid woman on the soap.

Anne Kirkbride, who has starred as Deirdre on the Coronation Street cobbles since 1972, has reportedly been rewarded with a massive £270,000 pay deal.

She’s also been signed up for a 14 month contract, whereas most stars just get six or 12 month deals, The Sun reports.

Bosses at the show were believed to be keen to keep her after a host of other actors – including Kate Ford, Bradley Walsh and Debra Stephenson – quit the ITV soap.

Anne allegedly now rakes in more than Barbara Knox, better known as Rita Sullivan, who is thought to have been the previous top female earner.

An insider told the paper: “Deirdre is a Street stalwart, we can’t afford for her to go anywhere. We’re delighted she’s staying put.”

But a Corrie spokeswoman said: “We would never comment on stars’ pay or contracts.”

Anne’s years on the soap have been rocky to say the least. Her character has been a housewife, prisoner and long-term love of Ken Barlow.

Bill Roache, who plays Ken, is believed to be the highest paid Corrie male, and is the only original cast member to remain.