'Anne Kirkbride should get a standing ovation' says ex-Corrie co-star Johnny Briggs

Ex-Coronation Street star, Johnny Briggs has paid tribute to his former co-star, Anne Kirkbride who passed away following a short illness last week.

Johnny, who played factory boss, Mike Baldwin for 30 years believes Anne should receive a standing ovation this week as her family and friends prepare to say goodbye.

Although Anne's funeral is expected to be a private event, Johnny thinks soap legend Anne, who played Deirdre Barlow for over 40 years deserves a "good send-off".

"The streets of Manchester should be closed to traffic and she should get a standing ovation," Johnny told the Sunday Mirror.

In a storyline that gripped the nation in the early 1980s Deirdre and Mike had an affair two years into her marriage to Ken Barlow (played by William Roache) and, while she eventually chose to stay with her husband, Johnny said she "chose the wrong man" but added he scriptwriters had got it right.

Speaking of his sadness after Anne's death, Johnny described it as a "cruel loss", and added her acting in Coronation Street was "worth an Oscar".

"She was that good," he says.

Simon Timblick

Simon has long been a fan of soap operas, and especially loves OVER-THE-TOP plots involving evil twins, hair-pulling catfights and natural disasters. Anyone remember the Sunset Beach earthquake/tidal wave? Or when Krystle Carrington got locked in the attic and replaced by look-a-like Rita in Dynasty?!

Simon has written for a variety of TV and childrens’ magazines/websites including Inside Soap, Nickelodeon, What’s On TV, Radio Times, Metro, Girl Talk, Disney Girl, Toxic! and Digital Spy. He has reported LIVE from the red carpet at The British Soap Awards interviewing glammed-up stars from soapland, and hosted a Facebook LIVE session for Metro with Home and Away legend Ray Meagher (Alf "Stone the flamin' crows!" Stewart) to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Aussie soap.

Simon is also co-author of The Treasures Of Coronation Street (Carlton Books)

And the writer and director of (very!) low budget fright flick, Midsummer Night's EVIL and the sequel webisodes series, The Hatchet Woods HORROR.