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Ant and Dec pay tribute to late Corrie star Anne Kirkbride

TV favourites Ant and Dec spoke of their shock at the sudden passing of Coronation Street legend Anne Kirkbride at the National Television Awards (NTAs) on Wednesday night.

Ant told ITV News that the news of her death was a "very sad" while Dec said Anne would be "in everyone's thoughts".

The Geordie pair, whose TV credits include Britain's Got Talent and Saturday night takeaway, once again won the gong for presenting.

NTAs 'a great celebration tinged with shock'

Former Coronation Street star Natalie Gumede, who played Kirsty Soames from 2011- 2013, has paid tribute to Anne Kirkbride at the National Television Awards (NTAs).

Natalie told ITV News: "I think it's going to be a very poignant evening, it's a great celebration tonight but obviously it's tinged with a great deal of shock that we're all feeling, as a nation I think."


Tearful Corrie star remembers 'wonderful' Anne Kirkbride

Coronation Street star Helen Worth tearfully told Good Morning Britain how much Anne Kirkbride will be missed on the set.

The ITV soap shut down filming yesterday but Worth - who plays the long-suffering Gail McIntyre - said she was happy to be back on the cobbles so she could reminisce about Kirkbride with others who knew her so well.

"I personally am grateful to be back on set today amongst the cast where we can talk about Annie and remember the wonderful lovable person that she was," the actress told GMB.

Calls for lifetime achievement award for 'Dierdre'

Anne Kirkbride died aged 60 on Monday after a short illness. Credit: ITV/Coronation Street

There are calls for Coronation Street actress Anne Kirkbride to be given a posthumous lifetime achievement award following her death on Monday.

It was revealed her onscreen husband William Roache, who played Ken Barlow, will deliver a touching tribute to her at the National Television Awards tonight.

And the soap is bookies' favourite to scoop the award for best serial drama.

Anne's castmates are due back at work today after hearing the heartbreaking news.

Writers now face the task of writing the much-loved character out of the show and say it will happen within the next month.

William Roache to lead tributes to Anne Kirkbride at awards ceremony

Coronation Street star William Roache will lead the tributes to Anne Kirkbride as the world of broadcasting honours the late actress at the National Television Awards.

Coronation Street actors William Roache and Anne Kirkbride Credit: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire

He is due to take the stage to speak about her contribution to the show and share his memories of his on-screen wife.

As the soap's Ken and Deirdre Barlow, they shared the screen for more than 40 years and remained friends despite the demise of their screen marriage.

Coronation Street was already likely to have a strong presence at the ceremony as the show is up for the best serial drama prize.

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Looking back at Anne Kirkbride's acting career

Although Coronation Street actress Anne Kirkbride was best known for her role as Deirdre, she was 17 when she landed her first profesional acting part.

ITV Granada correspondent Amy Welch takes a look back at Anne's career and how it all started in her home town of Oldham.


Coronation Street stars pay tribute to 'always happy Annie'

Her character was so woven into the national fabric, Tony Blair affectionately ordered his Home Secretary to investigate the case of the 'Wetherfield One.'

For 44 years, Anne Kirkbride portrayed the turbulent life and times of Deirdre Barlow in Coronation Street.

William Roache - her on-screen husband Ken Barlow - spoke movingly to ITV News reporter Damon Green, of a friend and colleague who was "always loving, always happy".

Johnny Briggs: Everybody loved Anne

Former Coronation Street star Johnny Briggs paid tribute to "incredible" Anne Kirkbride.

Johnny - who starred as Mike Barlow, her lover and rival to her screen husband Ken Barlow - said, "everybody loved her."

Johnny Briggs who played Mike Baldwin with Anne Kirkbride, who played Deirdre Barlow. Credit: PA/PA Wire/Press Association Images

She loved everyone and everybody loved her, that's the tribute I pay to her.

I've never heard anybody say a bad word about her and she has my admiration for that because, you know, when you're living in the limelight all the time it's difficult.

I hope there is (some kind of special tribute show), she certainly deserves it.

I think I will remember her by her glasses. You know her reading glasses? She wouldn't ever take them off.

– Johnny Briggs

Julie Goodyear's tribute to 'amazing' Anne Kirkbride

Actress Julie Goodyear - Coronation Street's former pub landlady Bet Lynch - has paid a moving tribute to "amazing" actress and "firm friend" Anne Kirkbride.

Goodyear was already a regular on the cobbles whenKirkbride, then 18, joined as Deirdre in 1972.

Coronation Street stars Julie Goodyear (left) and Anne Kirkbride pictured together in 1984. Credit: PA/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Anne Kirkbride was one of the nicest and most professional actors I ever worked with during my time on Coronation Street. I was already in Coronation Street when Anne came into the Green Room - she was 18-years-old.

I gave her a hug and made her a coffee and showed her around.

I remember saying to her - 'We'll have to think of something special for your 21st birthday Anne'. She replied 'Oh, I won't be here then' - I said 'I'm sure you will' and of course she was. We became firm friends from that day onwards.

– Julie Goodyear

Goodyear, who bowed out of her beehive-wearing role in 1995, said: "She had a wonderful gift of a completely photographic memory. She could read an entire script just once and be word perfect. I'd never seen that before or since. Amazing."

She went on to send her thoughts to Anne's husband and family, saying: "To Dave and all Anne's family and friends, I would just like to say all my love, thoughts and prayers are with you at this time, and to Anne 'Angels guard you. Rest in peace'."

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