18:13 20 January 2015
Filming has been cancelled on ITV’s iconic soap Coronation Street after Anne Kirkbride, one of the best-loved and longest-serving stars, died at the age of 60 in a Manchester hospital. She is believed to have suffered from breast cancer, which spread to her brain. Co-stars are said to be ‘heartbroken and deeply saddened.’
Her death has led to an outpouring of grief from thousands of fans who have “grown up” with her character Deirdre Barlow. Ms Kirkbride was in the soap for 43 years and appeared in 1,439 episodes.
Her on-screen husband Bill Roache, said: 'We all wanted to carry on filming today for Annie's sake but when it came to it we couldn't do it'.
'Saying goodbye is something I wanted to do. It was beautiful. It's the thought she's not around any more.
'The void just walking on set today was heart-rending, because you feel her presence and we will always feel her presence. But I know she has gone to a very good and very happy place and for that we can be happy, but we miss her dreadfully.'
The show's executive producer, Kieran Roberts, said it was 'almost unheard of' to take a filming break but explained it was the 'right thing to do', to allow her friends to grieve and remember.
Watch the star's final filmed scene on the soap below: