01/06/2017 11:00 BST | Updated 01/06/2017 11:36 BST

Roy Barraclough Dead: 'Coronation Street' Veteran Who Played Alec Gilroy Dies Aged 81

His exchanges with wife Bet were legendary.

‘Coronation Street’ veteran star Roy Barraclough has died aged 81, it has been announced. 

The actor, who for a long time was a favourite in the role of Rovers Return landlord Alec Gilroy, passed away after a short illness, his agent has announced. 

Roy Barraclough and Julie Goodyear proved a priceless double act as Alec and Bet Gilroy, running the Rovers together

His character had made occasional appearances on the Street in the 1970s, before he was made a regular in 1986. His marriage to Bet Lynch and his taking over of the iconic pub sealed his status as a TV staple. He stayed after his screen wife departed, and finally left the show himself in 1998. 

Prior to his becoming a household name with his role in the TV soap, he formed one half of a comedy double act with his great friend Les Dawson.

They played two, famously boob-shovelling ladies ‘of a certain age’, Les Dawson playing Ada Shufflebotham, while Roy played Cissy, reportedly the more ‘refined’ of the two.

He continued to work after leaving ‘Coronation Street’, most recently as Maurice in ‘Last Tango in Halifax’ and in the ‘Are You Being Served?’ remake, where he played Mr Grainger. 

He was awarded an MBE in 2006 for services to drama and charity in the North West.  

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