Bill Roache: Anne Kirkbride had 'glow about her' in final days
11 June 2018 - 5:00 PM

Bill Roache: Anne Kirkbride had 'glow about her' in final days

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ill Roache says Anne Kirkbride "had a glow about her" when he visited her in hospital just days before her death.

The "Coronation Street" actor admits he was "very fortunate" to work alongside his fellow cobbles star - who passed away in January 2015 aged 60 - for so long and while Anne was unconscious when he last saw her, he felt a tremor when he held her hand.

He said: "I really loved Anne. We were married, split up and then got married again. We got on so well.

"Acting-wise we were just the same. She was great company, a laugh was never far away. She was a delight and I was very fortunate to work with somebody like her for so long.

"She was unconscious from morphine but she had a glow about her. I held her hand and felt a little tremor. I hoped that was a sign she knew I was with her."

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The 86-year-old actor - who plays Ken Barlow in the ITV soap - came under fire from some of Anne's fans in March when he claimed she was an "alcoholic" and was occasionally "weepy" and "waily" in between takes on set, but he insists he didn't say anything that wasn't already out in the open.

He said: "Annie was open. I was just talking about what was already in the public domain, but some people got upset. That's OK, that happens."

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Speaking in March 2016, he said: "What happened with Anne was - she was alcoholic, she was on drugs for depression but she was a beautiful person.

"She had been alcoholic but she was off the drink. Then she was on anti-depressant drugs all her life.

"She just started crying a lot and I spent half my life sort of comforting her. That got a bit worse, and we were holding up scenes because she was being weepy and waily.

"We just thought her medication wasn't working, you know, you get older, your body changes."

Bill has portrayed Ken since the very first "Corrie" episode in December 1960, during which time his character was married to Anne's alter-ego Deirdre Barlow for around 35 years, and he is aiming to become the first 100-year-old soap star.

He added to OK! magazine: "I will continue on "Coronation Street" for as long as they want me. I fully intend to make 100. I would like to be the first centenarian in working in a soap."

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