01/06/2017 15:34 BST

Roy Barraclough Dead: 'Coronation Street' Legend Julie Goodyear Pays Her Respects

The two played iconic soap couple Alec and Bet Gilroy.

‘Coronation Street’ legend Julie Goodyear has paid tribute to her former soap husband, Roy Barraclough, following the news of his death.

On Thursday morning (1 June), it was announced that Roy - who starred as pub landlord Alec Gilroy in ‘Corrie’ for more than a decade - had died at the age of 81, after a short period of ill health.

Julie, best known for playing Roy’s on-screen wife Bet Gilroy (née Lynch), has now paid her respects, fondly recalling their friendship and time on the cobbles together.

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Roy and Julie on their characters' wedding day in 1987

Describing Roy as her “dearest friend”, she said: “I have no words to describe how devastated I feel. We kept in close touch and spoke to each other at least two or three times every week.

“I will treasure all the happy times we had working and laughing together. We were just like a married couple – crazy, I know, but true.

“Rest in peace, Roy. I will always love you.”

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The pair attend the funeral of former co-star Bill Tarmey in 2012

Alec and Bet tied the knot in the 1980s, and had a surprisingly firm marriage at first, until he eventually left her in Weatherfield when he was offered a full-time job on a cruise, which she was not willing to leave her beloved pub behind to travel with him on.

After leaving ‘Coronation Street’ in 1998, Roy continued to work as an actor, most recently as Maurice in ‘Last Tango in Halifax’ and in the ‘Are You Being Served?’ remake, in which he starred as Mr Grainger.

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

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