Belfast Telegraph

Street stars' tributes to Kirkbride

Coronation Street colleagues of Anne Kirkbride and a host of other celebrities have expressed their grief at the soap veteran's death.

Kate Ford, who plays Deirdre's daughter Tracy Barlow in Coronation Street, tweeted: "Heartbroken at the loss of my friend and beautiful on screen mummy. The most crazy funny 100 per cent human. My life was enriched by her"

Samia Ghadie, who plays Maria in Coronation Street, tweeted: "#RIP to a wonderful unforgettable lady.. Anne Kirkbride . We will miss you so very much x"

Debbie Rush, who plays Anna, said: "So sad. We'll miss you so much Annie x #jellytots #sheknows xxx"

Adam Rickitt, who played Nick Tilsley, said: "Just heard ... so gutted ... Annie ... u were pure class ... a smile always when needed and a hug always from the heart #ripannekirkbride #annekirkbride

Les Dennis, who plays Michael Rodwell in Coronation Street, said: "So very sad to hear our lovely Anne Kirkbride has died. One of the true icons of @itvcorrie. We will all miss you. The nations favourite."

Coronation Street star Georgia May Foote tweeted: "Im still in shock that Anne Kirkbride has passed away. This woman never failed to make me smile. She will be missed"

Alan Halsall, who plays Tyrone in Coronation Street, said: "Rip Annie beautiful woman inside & out xxx #devastated #corriefamily"

Former Coronation Street star Michelle Keegan posted an emoticon of a broken heart, adding: "So so sad. Devastating news. Love you Annie. The nation is now in mourning..."

Beverley Callard, who plays Liz McDonald, tweeted: "My beautiful darling friend, Anne Kirkbride, passed away in a room filled with love. God Bless, my Darling Girl! Peace and rest!"

Andrew Whyment, who plays Kirk Sutherland in Coronation Street, tweeted: "RIP Anne Kirkbride you will be missed so much #legend x"

Coronation Street suspended filming today to give the cast and crew a chance to come to terms with the loss of "vibrant presence" Anne .

The show's executive producer, Kieran Roberts, said it was "almost unheard of" to take a break but explained it was the "right thing to do", to allow her friends to grieve and remember.

Former Coronation Street stars also paid tribute with Gaynor Faye tweeting: "Anne Kirkbride's smile & laugh always lit up the #Corrie green room...may it light up the sky as bright!"

Nikki Sanderson, who now stars in Hollyoaks but previously acted in Coronation Street, described Kirkbride as "phenomenal".

She tweeted: "My thoughts &prayers go out 2all who knew the phenomenal Anne Kirkbride, I am honoured 2have known&worked with u #RIP"

Lucy-Jo Hudson, a former Coronation Street star who went on to act in Wild At Heart, said: "Truly truly sad to hear the passing of the beautiful Annie Kirkbride."

Stars of other soaps also paid tribute, including Shona McGarty, who plays Whitney Dean in EastEnders, and who tweeted: "I am saddened to hear of Anne Kirkbride's passing. I pray for her family and friends to have strength at this sad time ... #ripAnneKirkbride"

Adam Woodyatt, who plays Ian Beale in EastEnders, tweeted: "Such sad news about Anne Kirkbride. My thoughts are with her family and all the Corrie cast and crew."

Former Emmerdale star Adele Silva said: "Such sad news about #AnneKirkbride #CoronationStreet RIP"

Hollyoaks star Stephanie Waring said: "Such sad news about Anne Kirkbride ... We have lost a national treasure! Thoughts and prayers go out to her family."

There were also a tribute from Culture Secretary Sajid Javid, who tweeted: "Saddened to learn that Anne Kirkbride has passed away. Thoughts with her family and friends"

And other stars who tweeted were television presenter Lorraine Kelly, who said: "So very sad to hear of death of Anne Kirkbride - Thoughts with her husband and family and everyone who loved her. Corrie legend."

Atomic Kitten star Natasha Hamilton said: "I'm really shocked #AnneKirkbride, Deirdre Barlow has passed away. Such a tv legend, RIP x"

Comedian Paddy McGuinness posted a photograph of a pair of spectacles, seemingly paying tribute to Deirdre Barlow's signature style, tweeting: "Anne Kirkbride RIP. A part of our lives whether you knew her or not. She created such an iconic character."

Former X Factor winner Sam Bailey said: "So sad to hear the news about Anne kirkbride x RIP honey xx heaven has gained another talented angel x"

Phillip Schofield said: "Just checked my phone and have heard of the sad loss of the wonderful Anne Kirkbride. My deepest condolences to the #Corrie family x"

Former footballer Stan Collymore tweeted that Kirkbride was "part of the fabric of many lives for a long long time!".

Carol Vorderman tweeted: "Home and so very sad to hear that Anne Kirkbride has passed away #RIPAnneKirkbride at such a young age #deirdrebarlow xx"

Nigel Havers, who had known Kirkbride since the 1970s and recently starred alongside her in Coronation Street as conman Lewis Archer, said "everyone will feel that a friend of theirs has passed away".

He told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme: "She was a very extraordinary, really hard-working actress. The fact she got into Coronation Street quite young didn't stop her being a fine actress, in my book. And also a very loving and cuddly sort of person - she was really fun to be around."

"She took it very seriously and I think produced some wonderful performances over the years, really incredible," he added.

Two floral tributes and sympathy cards were left in the early frosty morning outside the studios at Salford Quays.

One said: "RIP Derdrie, You will be sadly missed. You have been a big part of our lives. Good night and God bless. Mr and Mrs Johnson"

A second sympathy card read: "in deepest sympathy RIP Deirdre, our thoughts and prayers are with all the cast at this difficult time. The Baker family, Salford."

Kate Ford later recounted how she first met the actress, who played her mother, and how Kirkbride looked after Ford just like a parent.

"From my first day at Coronation Street Annie welcomed me with open arms. Her first question to anyone new she met was 'what's your star sign?' She was genuinely interested in each and everyone she met.

"She had the biggest, warmest heart and a startling and refreshing openness and there was never any pretence with her. She was just Annie," she said.

Ford added: "She was unique. Annie was always there for me and was a shoulder in my life whenever things were tough.

"Putting teddies on the bed and running me candle-lit bubble baths at her house. I loved her so much. I will miss her everyday.

"She was amazing on-set. Fun when cameras weren't rolling and word perfect and totally on it when they were."

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