Barbara Knox
Barbara Knox plays Coronation Street's Rita Tanner. Reuters

Coronation street star Barbara Knox has been handed a 12-month driving ban after pleading guilty to a drink-driving charge.

The 81-year-old actress, who plays Rita Tanner in the ITV soap, appeared at Crewe magistrates court following her arrest in Cheshire last March.

According to the prosecution, Knox arrived at Middlewich police station to check on her daughter Maxine Ashcroft who was in police custody for the same offence.

Although she appeared to be under the influence of alcohol, she chose to drive home and was later stopped by police.

Following her subsequent arrest, a blood test showed she had 85mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood. The legal limit is 80mg.

As well as the driving ban, Knox was also fined £3000 and ordered to pay costs of £1750.

Knox, who was appointed an MBE in 2010, previously denied committing the offence, but chose to change her plea at today's hearing.

The court heard that Knox did not wish to justify her actions as she "considers drink-driving to be serious".