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
A Manchester City fan has been cleared of using racist language during the Manchester derby after stewards failed to show up for his trial.
Investigators have released images of two more people they wish to speak to about the Hillsborough tragedy.
Anthony Walker was murdered in a park in Liverpool in 2005. His family have spoken about their loss.