Former Coronation Street star Peter Baldwin dies aged 82
Actor Peter Baldwin, best known for his 21-year role as Derek Wilton in Coronation Street, has died aged 82, it was reported tonight.
A Coronation Street spokesman was quoted on the ITV News website saying: "It is with great sadness we've learned respected former Coronation Street actor Peter Baldwin has died. Peter passed away at his home in north London last night after a short illness.
"We send our sincere condolences to his family and friends at this sad time."
Tributes have started to pour in from friends and colleagues.
Sally Ann Matthews, who plays Corrie's Jenny Bradley, posted on Twitter: "Lovely Peter Baldwin. Such a gentle, kind, funny man and a wonderful actor and toy shop purveyor x."
Baldwin first appeared as Coronation Street's Derek in 1976. His character began dating dithering Mavis Riley shortly after, but their protracted relationship did not lead to marriage until 1988.
Derek was written out of the soap in 1997 when he had a heart attack after arguing with a driver in a road rage incident.
Baldwin, who was born in Sussex, married actress Sarah Long.
Long presented the BBC's long-running children's programme Play School, but she died from cancer in 1987.
After Coronation Street, Baldwin continued to appear on several TV series.
Between acting jobs, he worked at Pollock's Toy Museum and managed its traditional toy shop in London's Covent Garden, according to the BBC.
In 1988, Baldwin took over the ownership of the shop.
The actor was still recognised for his role in Coronation Street, as he told the BBC in 2010. "I even get customers from America, Canada and New Zealand who watch repeats of the show and are very surprised to see me when they walk into the shop," he said.
Baldwin is survived by his two children.