Anne Kirkbride dead: William Roache leads tributes to the actress who played Deirdre Barlow in Coronation Street

Kirkbride passed away at a Manchester hospital tonight

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The Independent Online

Tributes have poured in for Coronation Street actress Anne Kirkbride, who has passed away following a short illnesss. She was 60.

Deirdre's best Corrie moments

Kirkbride died in a Manchester hospital, her husband David Beckett confirmed tonight.

A statement on the ITV website said that her husband and the programme's cast and crew are "heartbroken and deeply saddened".

William Roache, who played her onscreen husband Ken Barlow, said: "I feel Anne's loss so personally having worked closely with her for over 40 years.

"She was such a loving and vibrant person. You always knew she was there because her laugh was never far away.

"She was an impeccable performer with superb comedy timing and an immense gift for really heightened drama. We had some rows over the years as Ken and Deirdre and it was wonderful to play those scenes opposite her.

"Coronation Street has lost one of its iconic characters and Anne will be greatly missed."

Executive producer Kieran Roberts said: "There are no words to describe the sense of grief we feel at Anne's passing.

"We know only too acutely how much Anne meant to the millions of people who watched her create the legendary character of Deirdre Barlow.

"She will be greatly missed by the Coronation Street team who share happy memories of working with her.

"We feel blessed and honoured to have known her. Our thoughts are with David and their family."


Samia Ghadie, who plays Maria, Debbie Rush, who plays Anna, Adam Rickitt, who played Nick Tilsley, and Alan Halsall, who plays Tyrone,all tweeted their tributes to their former colleague.

Adam Woodyatt, who plays Ian Beale in Eastenders, and former Emerdale star Adele Silva, were among starts from other soaps to express their condolences.

Meanwhile, comedian Paddy McGuinness seemingly gave a nod to Deirdre Barlow's signature style, by tweeting a photograph of a pair of spectacles.

Additional reporting by PA