Public memorial for Coronation Street star

Anne Kirkbride
Anne Kirkbride
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A public memorial service will be held today for Coronation Street star Anne Kirkbride, who played the role of Deirdre Barlow for more than 40 years.

Members of the cast and crew of the ITV1 soap will attend the ceremony at Manchester Cathedral in honour of the Oldham-born actress.

Kirkbride, 60, was one of the show’s best-known performers and was loved by millions for her portrayal of husky-voiced Deirdre, famed for many years for her oversized spectacles.

She died in January after a battle with cancer.

The Cathedral’s Sub Dean, Philip Barratt, will conduct the service with hymns performed by Manchester Cathedral choir.

There will also be readings and tributes by members of the cast including William Roache (Ken Barlow), Beverley Callard (Liz McDonald), Elle Mulvaney (Amy Barlow) and executive producer Kieran Roberts.

Kirkbride’s actor husband Dave Beckett has helped the Coronation Street production team produce the service and has been involved in every aspect of the celebration including the choice of music and readings.

Images of the actress in her role as Deirdre and photographs taken with her real life family will be on display.

An exhibition of artwork which Kirkbride photographed and painted throughout her life will also be on view.

The service begins at 11.30am.