Coronation Street creator and writer Tony Warren dies

Video report by ITV News Correspondent Duncan Golestani

Coronation Street creator and writer Tony Warren has died aged 79, it has been announced.

A message on the show's Twitter account said: "It's with great sadness that Coronation Street confirms legendary creator and writer Tony Warren, MBE has passed away."

In a statement, ITV said the award-winning scriptwriter had died following a short illness.

The statement continued: "All who worked with Tony throughout his illustrious career had the utmost respect for his achievements and he remained a consultant on the Manchester-based soap until the day he died."

Warren was considered one of TV's "greatest minds," it added.

  • Warren found inspiration on a train

Warren wrote his initial scripts for Coronation in 1960 after finding inspiration whilst on a train to Manchester.

The series became a success almost overnight, with Warren writing episodes on a full-time basis until 1968 - and part-time until the late 1970s.

He then worked on other television dramas and went on to craft several critically acclaimed novels in the 1990s, although his association with Coronation Street continued.

  • Tributes to 'a true legend'

Warren, right, in 1995 with former Coronation Street stars Liz Dawn (centre), and Tony Warren (left). Credit: PA

Following news of Warren's death, stars from throughout the soap's history paid tribute to a man who left "the greatest legacy".

Guinness World Records even offered a tribute to the man whose idea led to the world's longest-running soap.

Warren devised the idea for the Weatherfield soap at the age of 24, at the very beginning of his writing career, and was a regular visitor to the soap's set in Trafford, Greater Manchester.

Ken Barlow actor William Roache, who had worked with Warren since Coronation Street's first episode on December 9 1960, said he was the "father" of the soap.

"When I first met Tony I couldn't quite believe he'd created and written Coronation Street because he was no more than a young boy," he said.

William Roache, centre, with Warren, right, and the Queen on ITV's 50th anniversary in 2005. Credit: ITV News

"It was his boyish energy even recently when I saw him again that I'll remember. I loved Tony's energy. He was the father of Coronation Street and he gave us all so much.

"He will be so desperately missed because of who he was and what he did. We owe him so much."

Helen Worth, who plays Gail McIntyre in the soap, described Warren as the "dearest, funniest and most inspirational man of his generation."

Helen Worth, who plays Gail McIntyre, described Warren as a Credit: PA

Coronation Street executive producer Kieran Roberts also praised Warren, referring to him as a genius.

Coronation Street paid tribute to Warren at the end of Wednesday's episode. Credit: ITV