Sue Johnston could be set to join the cast of Coronation Street – behind the Rovers Return bar.

The actress, who famously plays Jim Royle’s wife in BBC1 comedy The Royle Family, has been approached to take on the role of landlady Stella’s mother.

Sue, 68, had a small role in Coronation Street in 1980. She then went on to star as Sheila Grant in Channel 4’s Liverpool-set soap Brookside. Sue starred in the very first episode of Brookside and remained a cast member for eight years.

She has been a firm favourite as Barbara, wife of Ricky Tomlinson’s slob character Jim, in The Royle Family, written by Craig Cash and Caroline Aherne.

Coronation Street bosses are in talks with the actress about the role. Stella is played by another actress from a rival soap, Michelle Collins, known for many years as Cindy in EastEnders.

A source said Sue would make the ‘perfect Corrie matriarch’.

A spokeswoman for Coronation Street was keeping tight-lipped about whether she would land the role.

She said: “We are currently looking to cast the role of Stella’s mum. We would never comment on who we may or may not be interested in for any role in Coronation Street.”