She is to play pigeon lover Connie Rathbone and will first appear in Weatherfield on April 17 when she returns one of Jack's (Bill Tarmey) pigeons. Jack, however, is concerned what his late wife Vera (Liz Dawn) would think of him entertaining another woman.
An insider told DS: "Rita began filming yesterday and will be sticking around for the foreseeable future."
May has previously appeared in the Manchester-based soap in a number of guest roles. She briefly starred as Brenda Kelly in 2001, and also appeared as Mrs Wilberforce a year earlier. In 1981, she took a bit part role as Freda, and in 1978 played Marjorie Pitts.
May's previous acting credits also include CITV drama Children's Ward, Early Doors and BBC comedy series Drop Dead Gorgeous.