Coronation Street actor Bill Roache has claimed his late co-star Anne Kirkbride was an alcoholic, according to reports.

The 83-year-old said his on-screen wife, who played Deirdre Barlow for 42 years in the ITV soap, had stopped drinking before her death, but had been taking anti-depressants.

Bill, who has starred as Ken Barlow since Corrie’s first episode in 1960, also claimed that towards the end of her life, Anne would hold up filming because she was ‘weepy and wailing’.

Anne Kirkbride played the role of Deirdre Barlow for 42 years



Anne Kirkbride played the role of Deirdre Barlow for 42 years (ITV)

 

Speaking at the Royal Television Society Awards in London, he reportedly said: “What happened to Anne was — she was alcoholic. She was on drugs for depression. She was a beautiful person.

“She had been alcoholic, but she was off the drink. Then she was on anti-depressant drugs all her life.”

Anne died in January last year aged 60. She had been diagnosed with breast cancer and had also suffered a stroke.

Following Bill’s reported comments, Anne’s husband David Beckett insisted that she had not drank alcohol for many years before her death.

He told the Sun newspaper: “Whilst Anne did describe herself as an alcoholic, as many alcoholics do, she had not touched a drop of alcohol for 30 years or more.”