The wife of Coronation Street star Bill Roache has died unexpectedly at their home in Cheshire, according to reports.

Sara Roache, who was 58, had been married to actor Bill, who plays Ken Barlow in the soap, for more than 30 years, and the pair had two children.

Show producers said she had not been ill and died on Saturday. Roache, 76, said his family were “all in a state of shock”.

Co-star Bev Callard, who plays Liz McDonald, led the tributes to Mrs Roache, describing her as “a beautiful human being”.

“I have known her for many years and met her before I joined Corrie. We met many times at charity functions which she gave so much of her time to.”

“She was heavily involved in a talent contest each year where money was raised to send disabled children on the holiday of a lifetime.”

Mrs Roache also appeared briefly in Corrie, playing a judge in the trial of Tracy Barlow.

A spokesman for the show said producers had told Roache to take as much time off as he needed and added, “William and Sara were a devoted couple and our thoughts are with William and his family at this sad time.”