Anne Kirkbride's on-screen family join real family at Corrie star's funeral

Members of Anne Kirkbride's on-screen family are reported to have joined her real-life relatives at the Coronation Street actress's funeral.

Bill Roache, who played her soap husband Ken Barlow, and Kate Ford, who played her daughter Tracy, were said to have attended alongside her widower David Beckett.

The 60-year-old actress, who starred in Coronation Street for 44 years, died in a Manchester hospital last week.

She had been away from the screen since September after taking a break from Weatherfield following her diagnosis with cancer.

The star was one of the soap's best-know performers and was loved by millions for her portrayal of husky-voiced Deirdre, famed for many years for her oversized spectacles.

Anne appeared in many colourful storylines over the years, including one of her most memorable soap moments when Deirdre was jailed after being duped into a mortgage fraud by fiance Jon Lindsay.

The storyline even led then prime minister Tony Blair to give his support to the Free The Weatherfield One movement to get her released.

The actress previously took a break from Coronation Street after being diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in 1993.


Patrick McLennan

Patrick McLennan is a London-based journalist and documentary maker who has worked as a writer, sub-editor, digital editor and TV producer in the UK and New Zealand. His CV includes spells as a news producer at the BBC and TVNZ, as well as web editor for Time Inc UK. He has produced TV news and entertainment features on personalities as diverse as Nick Cave, Tom Hardy, Clive James, Jodie Marsh and Kevin Bacon and he co-produced and directed The Ponds, which has screened in UK cinemas, BBC Four and is currently available on Netflix. 

An entertainment writer with a diverse taste in TV and film, he lists Seinfeld, The Sopranos, The Chase, The Thick of It and Detectorists among his favourite shows, but steers well clear of most sci-fi.