Apparently Sir Derek Jacobi fancies himself as a bit of a soap star – and can see himself romancing Corrie’s Rita.

According to the Express, the actor – who remains best known for his classical theatre roles – secretly hankers after a part in Coronation Street.

The 69-year-old was recently cast alongside ex-Coronation Street star Bradley Walsh in a Christmas adaptation of Dickens’ The Old Curiosity Shop.

“Bradley told me that if he ever went back into Coronation Street he’d take me with him – I could play an old East End chum,” the star of I, Claudius said.

“Do I want to do it? You bet! I’d be happy in the underwear factory or the Rovers – I think I’d like to be somewhere between the two.”

It appears that Sir Derek has also given some thought to his preferred soap opera storyline – the star has already given some consideration to his character’s love-life.

“I could have a romance with Rita,” he commented, “But actually I’d prefer her friend Doreen Fenwick.”

A Coronation Street source told The Sun: “We are aware that Sir Derek is a fan and would love to get him on board.”