Speaking backstage, Halsall paid tribute to Bill Tarmey, saying the actor would be looking down on him tonight.
He said: "I'm sure he is. He'll be having a pint of Guinness for me. His wife asked me to wear his watch tonight so I've got it on.
This is for him, he guided me literally from the start of my career at Coronation Street, he was such a huge, huge influence on my life like a second dad on screen.
"He'd be laughing at this right now, he used to say, 'none of that bloody acting'."
More top news
Manchester City defender Bacary Sagna has been fined £40,000 by the Football Association for an Instagram post about referee Lee Mason.
A public inquiry into the death of Anthony Grainger has heard officers relied on "out-of-date intelligence".
A quiet few days ahead. Here are the details