Coronation Street: Sad scenes as Ken Barlow and Liz McDonald carry the late Deirdre's coffin
Published 07/07/2015 | 15:07
Coronation Street viewers will learn tomorrow of the tragic death of one of the show's longest-running characters, Deirdre Barlow, played by the late actress Anne Kirkbride.
In a heartbreaking scene, previewed on ITV show This Morning, Deirdre's husband Ken, daughter Tracy and neighbour Audrey are told of the devastating news by her closest friend Bev.
Her death is announced later to the rest of Weatherfield's residents at a party planned for her homecoming at the Rovers Return.
Kirkbride, who played Deirdre for 42 years, died in January aged 60.
At the time of her death, she had been away from the screen for four months after taking a break following her diagnosis with cancer.
A funeral service for her character will be shown during Monday night's episode.
The soap's official Twitter account released some images from the funeral today which show Deirdre's husband Ken and best friend Liz McDonald carry her coffin.
Daughter Tracy, and grandchildren Amy and Simon make up the chief mourners, who are supported by residents of Coronation Street in bidding a final farewell to Deirdre.
However, there is tension between Ken and Tracy - it's explained to viewers that Deirdre was meant to return to the cobbles earlier but opted to extend her stay with Bev after hearing of her daughter's affair with builder Tony, who was partner to Deirdre's best friend Liz.
Read more here: Does Deirdre's departure signal curtains for the Corrie cobbles?
Ken will blame Tracy for allowing the situation to happen which contributed to Deirdre's decision to stay away from the street, thereby depriving her family of a last goodbye.
Her funeral also paves the way for Peter Barlow to make a temporary return in which he is briefly reunited with son Simon.
Actress Anne Kirkbride 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.Read more here: RIP Anne Kirkbride - her top ten moments as Corrie's Deirdre Barlow
She 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 the soap after being diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in 1993.
Coronation Street will be screened on ITV1 tomorrow at 7.30pm.