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Corrie fans and cast bid farewell to Deirdre Barlow

Actor Michael Le Vell and girlfriend Louise Gibbons arrive for the service
Actor Michael Le Vell and girlfriend Louise Gibbons arrive for the service

FANS gathered in Manchester where the cast of Coronation Street attended an emotional service for Deirdre Barlow actress Anne Kirkbride.

She died in January after a battle with cancer after playing appearing in the famous soap opera for more than 40 years.

Kirkbride was one of the show’s best-known performers and was loved by millions for her portrayal of husky-voiced Deirdre, famed for many years for her oversized spectacles.

There were readings and tributes by members of the cast including William Roache (Ken Barlow), Beverley Callard (Liz McDonald), Elle Mulvaney (Amy Barlow) and executive producer Kieran Roberts.

The Cathedral’s Sub Dean, Philip Barratt, conducted the service with hymns performed by Manchester Cathedral choir.

Kirkbride’s actor husband Dave Beckett  helped the Coronation Street production team produce the service.

Images of the actress in her role as Deirdre and photographs taken with her real life family was on display.

An exhibition of artwork which Kirkbride photographed and painted throughout her life was also on view.