Belfast Telegraph

Roache's emotional Kirkbride eulogy

William Roache, who played the late Anne Kirkbride's on-screen husband Ken Barlow in Coronation Street, paid an emotional tribute to her at the National Television Awards following her death from cancer.

He said: "For over 40 years, our dear friend Anne Kirkbride played the part of Deirdre and she became one of the best loved and most enduring characters on British television.

"With her husky voice and trademark spectacles, the nation took Deirdre to their hearts.

"As the characters Ken and Deirdre we felt we'd met our soulmates and no matter what was thrown at us - Deirdre's wrongful imprisonment and the compelling love triangle with Mike Baldwin - we always found one another together.

"The nation seemed to want us together and I feel so blessed, honoured and privileged to have had those years working with Anne.

"What we'll remember the most is the vibrant, warm-hearted, loving person who came to work each day, gave us all a hug and brightened up our lives.

"In real life the programme brought Anne and her husband David together when he joined Coronation Street to play the character of Dave Barton, and he's lovingingly and loyally been at Anne's side since they were married in 1992.

"Together with Anne's brother John and his family, David, and her Coronation Street family, and especially Beverley Callard - who was very close to Anne in her last days - we've been deeply touched by the outpouring of love for Anne since she passed away on Monday evening.

"We share your grief and sadness at losing such a beautiful person who'll be so greatly missed by us all. I love you, Anne. Thank you."

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