Bill Roache reveals last words to Coronation Street's Anne Kirkbride
'Coronation Street' star Bill Roache has revealed his last words to Anne Kirkbride before she lost her battle with cancer.
The friend and co-star of the soap actress - who was 60 when she passed away on January 19 last year - has opened up about the final moments he spent with his on-screen wife before she died.
Bill, 83, shared: "I talked to Annie, I held her hand and said goodbye. She looked really peaceful and really, really beautiful. I said, 'Goodbye Annie, you know you're going to a beautiful place'.
"I was always talking to her about angels. Everyone has a guardian angel and she had two, of course, being Annie.
And the star - who plays Ken Barlow in the soap - was relieved he got to see Anne before she passed away.
He added: "I said, 'Go on, you'll be in a lovely place now, everything will be much happier, lots and lots of love'. There was a little movement in Annie's hand, she was unconscious but whether she took things in on a different level, I don't know. I would have been mortified if I'd missed her."
Anne joined 'Coronation Street' as Deirdre Barlow in 1972 and played the lovable character for 42 years.
Bill recalled it was a shock when the cast were told she would not be returning, after she took a three-month-break to deal with her heath issues.
He said: "We all assumed she was coming back so getting that phone call days before she died was a big shock. It was a blessing, knowing what it was, that she went so quickly."
Ken and Deirdre were married in 1981 and the ceremony was watched by 24 million viewers.
While Ken and Deirdre's reconciliation after Deirdre's infidelity, was broadcast on Manchester United's Old Trafford scoreboard, to a roar from fans.
Bill also admitted filming scenes for Deirdre's funeral and attending Anne's own funeral were equally hard for him.
He told the Daily Mirror: "The only time when I lost the difference between Ken and Deirdre and Anne and Bill was when we filmed her funeral and then I went to her actual funeral. I felt the same at both."
The star was honoured with a funeral for her character described as the "biggest" 'Coronation Street' has ever seen.