23/01/2015 03:44 GMT | Updated 23/01/2015 03:59 GMT

Anne Kirkbride Was Planning 'Coronation Street' Return As Deirdre Barlow Days Before Her Death

Anne Kirkbride had been planning her return as Deirdre Barlow in ‘Coronation Street’ just days before she died, it has been reported.


‘Corrie’ producer Stuart Blackburn has revealed that he spoke to Anne last Friday, just three days before her death, when she told him how much she was looking forward to returning to the cobbles to play Deirdre once again, following the three-month break she had taken from from the soap.

He told The Sun: “She seemed so happy and she was talking about and really excited about coming back to work.”

anne kirkbride

Anne Kirkbride

However, sadly Anne’s condition worsened later that day, and she died in a Manchester hospital on Monday evening, aged 60.

Stuart added: “She’s so missed already.”

Anne’s family have told the newspaper that there will be a private funeral held for the iconic soap actress next week.

Her onscreen husband, Bill Roache - who starred opposite Anne in ‘Corrie’ as Ken Barlow for over 40 years - paid tribute to her with a moving speech at the National Television Awards on Wednesday night.

bill roache

Bill Roache at the NTAs

Addressing soap fans directly, he said: “We have been deeply touched for the outpouring of love for Anne. We share your grief and sadness in losing such a beautiful person, who will be greatly missed by us all. I love you, Anne.”

The cast of ‘EastEnders’ were honoured with the Best Serial Drama gong at the awards bash, and dedicated it to Anne’s memory, with Adam Woodyatt saying: “This is dedicated to the Weatherfield One”, which received a standing ovation from the cast of ‘Corrie’.

Photo gallery Anne Kirkbride Through The Years See Gallery