Actress Amanda Barrie, 78, who played much-loved Alma Baldwin in Coronation Street, has announced her engagement to crime novelist Hilary Bonner, 65, joking that they risked “cutting it a bit fine” if they waited any longer to tie the knot.

The couple have been together for nearly 10 years.

“As our combined ages will be 144 at the time of this cosmic event, we felt we might be cutting it a bit fine if we left it much longer,” Amanda is reported as telling The Sun.

“In any case, our dog was feeling insecure.”

Their wedding invitations joke that they are keen to take advantage of recent gay marriage laws and “make it legal” for the sake of their pet pug Coco, and they will have their big day at the Theatre Royal in London.

Amanda – previously married to late theatre director Robin Hunter – came out as bisexual in 2002.

Fans can look forward to seeing Amanda back on TV next year, when she is reunited with fellow former Coronation Street star Sherrie Hewson in ITV’s hit sitcom Benidorm.

Amanda will play a psychic in the comedy, which will also see the return of Joan Collins and feature guest appearances from Nadia Sawalha and John Challis.