Coronation Street’s Anne Kirkbride dies aged 60

Coronation Street star Anne Kirkbride, best known as Deirdre Barlow in the long-running soap, has died aged 60 after a short illness.

ITV said the actress, who was in the show for 42 years, passed away peacefully in a Manchester hospital.

Her husband David Beckett and the programme’s cast and crew were said to be “heartbroken and deeply saddened”.

A statement from ITV director Peter Fincham posted on the ITV website confirmed the actress’s death.

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.”


William Roache (left), who played Anne Kirkbride's (right) on screen husband Ken Barlow
William and Anne


Her co-star and on-screen husband, William Roache, led tributes, saying said she would be “greatly missed”.

“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,” said Roache.

“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.

The actress, who played Deirdre Barlow in the show for 43 years, is believed to have suffered breast cancer which spread to her brain.

Veteran Liz Dawn – who played Vera Duckworth in the soap for 34 years – said “the heart of the show has been ripped out.”