A public memorial service has been held today for Anne Kirkbride – the actress known to millions for her role as Deirdre Barlow in Coronation Street.
The service at Manchester Cathedral was attended by the soap’s cast and crew, some of whom worked with Kirkbride for decades.
She joined the show in 1972, and became of its best-known performers – famed for her husky voice and oversized spectacles.
During the memorial, readings and tributes were made by her on-screen husband William Roache, who plays Ken Barlow in Corrie.
Beverley Callard and Elle Mulvaney, who portray Liz McDonald and Amy Barlow, also made speeches at the service.
Following the memorial, Ms Callard told Sky News: “She was taken away from us so young – but we just have to be grateful and thankful that we knew her.
“She just had an enormous personality and a wonderful aura about her – because she had a beautiful personality inside and out.
“(The memorial) was emotional, but also it was very funny – and she would have loved that because she had the most amazing sense of humour. Everybody loved her, and she loved everybody.”
Kirkbride’s real-life husband, Dave Beckett, worked with Coronation Street’s production team to plan the service, where hymns will be performed by Manchester Cathedral’s choir.
Photographs illustrating her life – both on screen and off – went on display, along with an exhibition of the artwork painted and photographed by Kirkbride.
The actress, who was born in Oldham, died of cancer in January at the age of 60.
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