It is with great sadness that David Beckett has confirmed tonight that his beloved wife and Coronation Street actress Anne Kirkbride has passed away peacefully in a Manchester hospital after a short illness.
David and the programme's cast and crew are heartbroken and deeply saddened at the loss of Anne who has been a Coronation Street icon for 44 years.
"There are no words to describe the sense of grief we feel at Anne's passing," said Executive Producer Kieran Roberts. "We know only too acutely how much Anne meant to the millions of people who watched her create the legendary character of Deirdre Barlow.
"She will be greatly missed by the Coronation Street team who share happy memories of working with her. We feel blessed and honoured to have known her. Our thoughts are with David and their family."