Bill Roache remembers Anne Kirkbride

'Coronation Street's Bill Roache thought the late Anne Kirkbride - who tragically passed away a year ago following a battle with cancer - looked "truly beautiful" in the hours before she passed away

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Bill Roache

Bill Roache

Bill Roache thought his former 'Coronation Street' co-star Anne Kirkbridge looked "truly beautiful" before she died.

The 83-year-old actor, who plays lovable Ken Barlow in the ITV soap, believes the late actress, who tragically passed away following a battle with cancer last January, seemed strangely at peace in the final hours of her life.

Speaking on the first anniversary of Anne's death, he said: "We knew she was on leave and we thought she was just resting and that she'd be coming back, and then we got the news that she was seriously ill on the Friday and I went to see her on the Monday, and I was warned that she'd lost a lot of weight and wasn't looking too good.

"But actually, she looked truly beautiful, she had great bone structure and she was lying there ... she was very sedated and I just talked to her about a few things. Talking about her angels and things like that, and said how much we loved her. And then I left ... and she died that night. It was a shock to us all. We didn't realise how ill she was."

Despite being left heartbroken, Bill is keen to remember the good times with Anne, who played his on-screen wife Deirdre in the soap from 1972 until 2013, and tries hard to celebrate her life with the rest of the cast rather than feel sad about the void she's left behind her.

Speaking on 'This Morning', he explained: "When somebody like Annie goes, she was such a presence, everyone was aware that she was around and humour was always the great thing with her ... we only grieve because we miss her. [But] I know she's fine, she's gone to a very happy place and now it's better that we celebrate her life and think about the happy moments."

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