Soap stars lead tributes to 'father of Coronation Street' Tony Warren
Long-serving Coronation Street stars Bill Roache and Helen Worth have paid tribute to the show's creator, Tony Warren.
Roache, who has played Ken Barlow since the soap first aired in December 1960, said: "When I first met Tony I couldn't quite believe he'd created and written Coronation Street because he was no more than a young boy. It was his boyish energy even recently when I saw him again that I'll remember.
"I loved Tony's energy. He was the father of Coronation Street and he gave us all so much. He will be so desperately missed because of who he was and what he did. We owe him so much."
Worth, who plays Gail McIntyre and had worked with Warren for 42 years, said: "Tony was a genius of our time, the dearest, funniest and most inspirational man of his generation.
"He brought real life into our homes for us all to relate to and enjoy. He will, of course, live on forever through Coronation Street."
Coronation Street executive producer Kieran Roberts said: "Tony Warren the writer was a pioneer, a revolutionary, a true genius, a giant of British television.
"He will rightly be remembered around the world as the creator of Coronation Street but those of us lucky enough to have worked on his wonderful show and to have known him will also remember the man: the razor-sharp intelligence, the brilliant, often mischievous sense of humour, the courage and conviction, the passion for people, the immense generosity of spirit and capacity for love.
"We all deeply mourn his passing but celebrate his work and his life, both of which have made the world an infinitely richer place."
John Whiston, creative director, soaps for ITV Studios, said: "Amid the many and much deserved tributes to Tony Warren, surely there can be no greater tribute than that the show he created 56 years ago is still the number one show on British TV.
"Tony infused Coronation Street with his own spirit, one that was at the same time dramatic and credible, exciting and grounded, funny and humane.
"It is Tony's spirit that has kept the show fresh and relevant all these years and will do for years to come. All who are lucky enough to work on the show owe Tony a huge amount of gratitude, as do all the millions who tune into Coronation Street week after week."
ITV director of television Kevin Lygo said: "Tony Warren was a charming man who gave ITV and the nation the greatest gift imaginable when he created Coronation Street, an idea that continues to entertain millions on a regular basis. We all owe him an enormous debt of thanks."