Tony Warren, the creator and writer of the ITV soap Coronation Street, has died aged 79.
Warren passed away surrounded by his family on Tuesday night after a short illness.
ITV paid tribute to Warren as one of television’s “greatest minds” in a statement confirming his passing. “All who worked with Tony throughout his illustrious career had the utmost respect for his achievements and he remained a consultant on the Manchester-based soap until the day he died.”
Born in Pendlebury, Lancashire, Warren trained at the the Elliott-Clarke theatre school in Liverpool and appeared in a number of radio and stage plays.
Warren devised the concept of Coronation Street in 1959, aged just 24, and the first episode aired on 9 December 1960. Set in a fictional town in Salford, Greater Manchester, the series followed the trials and tribulations of neighbours living on one street. While initially predicted to be dropped after just a few weeks, Coronation Street is now the longest-running TV soap opera in the world.
His death was confirmed in a tweet on Coronation Street’s Twitter account.
Warren’s series was praised for bringing working class life and dialect from northern England to screens. William Roache, who plays the soap’s longest running character Ken Barlowe, told ITV Warren will be “desperately missed” by the cast and crew.
“When I first met Tony I couldn't quite believe he'd created and written Coronation Street because he was no more than a young boy,” he said.
“It was his boyish energy even recently when I saw him again that I'll remember. I loved Tony's energy. He was the father of Coronation Street and he gave us all so much.
“He will be so desperately missed because of who he was and what he did. We owe him so much.”
Notable deaths in 2016
Notable deaths in 2016
Grand secretary of the Orange Order Drew Nelson died on 10 October aged 60 after a short illness
Aaron Pryor, the relentless junior welterweight died Sunday, Oct. 9, at the age of 60 at his home in Cincinnati after a long battle with heart disease
Polish Director Andrzej Wajda died on October 9, aged 90
Stylianos Pattakos has died following a stroke on 8th October. He was 103 years old.
Dickie Jeeps, was an English rugby union player who played for Northampton. He represented and captained both the England national rugby union team and the British Lions in the 1950s and 1960s. He died on 8th October. He was 84
6/33 Duke of Westminster
Billionaire landowner the Duke of Westminster, Gerald Cavendish Grosvenor has died on 9 August, aged 64
7/33 Christina Knudsen
Sir Roger Moore’s stepdaughter Christina Knudsen has died from cancer on 25 July at teh age of 47
8/33 Caroline Aherne
The actress Caroline Aherne has died from cancer on 2 July at the age of 52
9/33 Christina Grimmie
Christina Grimmie, 22, who was an American singer and songwriter, known for her participation in the NBC singing competition The Voice, was signing autographs at a concert venue in Orlando on 10 June when an assailant shot her. Grimmie was transported to a local hospital where she died from her wounds on 11 June
10/33 Kimbo Slice
Former UFC and Bellator MMA fighter Kimbo Slice died after being admitted to hospital in Florida on 6 June, aged 42
11/33 Muhammad Ali
The three-time former heavyweight world champion died after being admitted to hospital with a respiratory illness on 3 June, aged 74
12/33 Sally Brampton
Brampton who was the launch editor of the UK edition of Elle magazine has died on 10 May, aged 60
13/33 Billy Paul
The soul singer Billy Paul, who was best known for his single “Me and Mrs Jones”, has died on 24 April, aged 81
Noel Vasquez/Getty Images
Prince, the legendary musician, has been found dead at his Paisley Park recording studio on 21 April. He was 57
WWE icon Joan Laurer dies aged 45 after being found at California home on 20 April
16/33 Victoria Wood
The five-time Bafta-winning actress and comedian Victoria Wood has died on 20 April at her London home after a short illness with cancer. She was 62
17/33 David Gest
The entertainer and former husband of Liza Minnelli, David Gest has been found dead on 12 April in the Four Seasons hotel in Canary Warf, London. He was 62-years-old
18/33 Denise Robertson
Denise Robertson, an agony aunt on This Morning for over 30 years, has died on 1 April, aged 83
19/33 Zaha Hadid
Dame Zaha Hadid, the prominent architect best known for designs such as the London Olympic Aquatic Centre and the Guangzhou Opera House, has died of a heart attack on 31 March, aged 65
20/33 Ronnie Corbett
British entertainer Ronnie Corbett has passed away on 31 March at the age of 85
2014 Getty Images
21/33 Imre Kertesz
Hungarian writer and Holocaust survivor Imre Kertesz, who won the 2002 Nobel Literature Prize, has died on 31 March, at the age of 86
22/33 Rob Ford
Rob Ford, the former controversial mayor of Toronto, has died following a battle with a rare form of cancer. The 46-year-old passed away at the Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto on 22 March
23/33 Joey Feek
Joey (left) passed away in March after a two-year cancer illness. She was part of country music duo, Joey + Rory, with her husband Rory (right)
Jason Merritt/Getty Images
24/33 Umberto Eco
Italian writer and philosopher Umberto Eco died 19 February 2016 aged 84
25/33 Harper Lee
Harper Lee, the American novelist known for writing 'To Kill a Mockingbird', died February 19, 2016 aged 89
2005 Getty Images
Vanity, pictured performing in 1983, died aged 57
27/33 Dave Mirra
The BMX legend's body found inside truck with gunshot wound after apparent suicide aged 41
28/33 Harry Harpham
The former miner became Sheffield Labour MP in May after many years as a local councillor. He died after succumbing to cancer, at the age of 61.
29/33 Dale Griffin
The Mott the Hoople drummer died on January 17, aged 67
30/33 Rene Angelil
Celine Dion's husband and manager Rene Angelil has lost his battle with cancer on 14 January, aged 73
2011 Getty Images
31/33 Alan Rickman
Legendary actor Alan Rickman has died on 14 January at the age of 69 after battle with pancreatic cancer. He is largely regarded as one of the most beloved British actors of our generation with roles in Love Actually, Die Hard, Michael Collins, and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and an illustrious stage career
2015 Getty Images
32/33 Maurice White
The Earth, Wind & Fire founder died aged 74. The nine-piece band sold more than 90 million albums worldwide and won six Grammy awards
33/33 Lawrence Phillips
Former NFL star found dead in prison cell on 13 January in suspected suicide, aged 40
Coronation Street executive producer Kieran Roberts said: “Tony Warren the writer was a pioneer, a revolutionary, a true genius, a giant of British television.
“He will rightly be remembered around the world as the creator of Coronation Street but those of us lucky enough to have worked on his wonderful show and to have known him will also remember the man: the razor-sharp intelligence, the brilliant, often mischievous sense of humour, the courage and conviction, the passion for people, the immense generosity of spirit and capacity for love.
“We all deeply mourn his passing but celebrate his work and his life, both of which have made the world an infinitely richer place.”
Warren, whose real name was Anthony McVay Simpson, has also acted and written a number of novels. He was appointed an MBE in 1994 and continued to advise ITV Studios on Coronation Street up until his death.Reuse content