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Tributes paid to Coronation Street's Anne Kirkbride, who played Deirdre Barlow for 44 years

She passed away after a short illness at the age of just 60.

TRIBUTES HAVE BEEN pouring in for Anne Kirkbride, better known to millions as Deirdre Barlow on Coronation Street, who has died at the age of 60.

ITV announced the sad news on Monday evening, saying that her husband David Beckett said Anne passed away peacefully in a Manchester hospital after a short illness.

David and the programme’s cast and crew a “heartbroken and deeply saddened” by Anne Kirkbride’s death. She had been on the show for 44 years, and ITV described her as a “Coronation Street icon”.

Anne Kirkbride death Source: PA Wire/Press Association Images

In a statement, 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.

ITV Director of Television Peter Fincham said:

Anne has been a truly loyal servant to Coronation Street since joining the programme in the early 1970s. She created a unique and unforgettable character in Deirdre Barlow and she’ll be greatly missed on and off screen. Our sincerest condolences to Anne’s husband David and her family at this very sad time.

Coronation Street’s creator Tony Warren described Anne as “very easy to love”. “Her talent over the years made a massive contribution to Coronation Street,” he said.

Anne Kirkbride death Source: PA Wire/Press Association Images

William Roache, who played Anne’s onscreen husband Ken Barlow described his feelings:

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.

He described his co-star as “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.

Anne is survived by her husband, her brother John, and his family, said ITV.

Anne Kirkbride death Source: PA Wire/Press Association Images

Friends and colleagues, both past and present, of Anne’s have also been paying tribute to her:

Additional reporting: Christine Bohan

Read: Here’s why Coronation Street just won’t be the same without Deirdre Barlow > 

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