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Former Coronation Street star Roy Barraclough dies aged 81

Former Coronation Street star Roy Barraclough, who played Rovers landlord Alec Gilroy, has died aged 81.

His agent said he passed away on Thursday following a short illness.

The actor appeared on the ITV soap as a talent agent in the early 1970s before becoming a regular face on the cobbles from 1986 until 1992.

He returned again in 1996 for two years.

The character of Alec Gilroy was loved for his stormy marriage to Bet Lynch, played by Julie Goodyear.

Barraclough's other TV work included roles in Casualty, Last Of The Summer Wine and Last Tango In Halifax.

Last year, he appeared in the BBC's one-off tribute to Are You Being Served? as Mr Grainger.

In 2006, Barraclough was awarded the MBE for services to drama and his charity work.

He was a patron of Willow Wood Hospice in Greater Manchester for over 20 years.

The actor died at the hospice following his illness.

Paying tribute to her former co-star, Julie Goodyear said in a statement: ‘My dearest friend Roy Barraclough has passed away at 6am this morning. I have no words to describe how devastated I feel.

"We kept in close touch and spoke to each other at least two or three times every week. I will treasure all the happy times we had working and laughing together. We were just like a married couple, crazy, I know, but true.

"Rest in peace Roy. I will always love you."

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