"Fabulous at 40" were the words topping the birthday cake and were the perfect description for Antony Cotton. The Coronation Street actor, who has played factory worker and barman Sean Tully for the past 12 years, celebrated his 40th birthday at home in Lancashire in a party exclusively covered by HELLO! magazine.
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Antony invited Corrie stars from past and present to attend his fun-fuelled bash, which was organised by Liz Taylor of TLC – the same celebrity event planner behind Michelle Keegan's wedding.
Among the 140 guests were Sir Ian McKellen, Suranne Jones, Sally Lindsay and Katherine Kelly, as well as Catherine Tyldesley who has just returned to the Cobbles as a new mum.
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Antony Cotton invited Corrie members past and present to his 40th birthday party © Nicky Johnston
Antony, who is as warm and lovable as his on-screen character, thanked his guests in an emotional speech, and also revealed his birthday wishes.
"I genuinely wish for less sadness in the world," said the actor, who was supported by his partner of ten years Peter Eccleston, a production buyer on Corrie. "I wish we could all chill out, calm down and learn to live with our neighbours a bit better."
Referring to his cast mates as an extended family, Antony said: "I see more of my Corrie family than my own and I'm truly blessed to count you as lifelong friends.
"Tonight is about toasting the next decade – in fact, the next 40 years. I'm older than I ever intended to be, so it's about having drinks with friends old and new and kicking our heels up in style."
Party planner Liz Taylor organised the fabulous bash at Antony's home in Lancashire © Nicky Johnston
Antony and party planner Liz, who regularly works on events for the Corrie cast, decided to hold the lavish bash in a marquee in the grounds of the actor's home. "We came back to the idea of hosting it at home as it makes it more personal," said the Bury-born star.
It was certainly that, with sofas positioned around the stunning gardens, decorated with personalised cushions that featured printed photographs of many of the guests taken through the years.
Inside the marquee, an array of scented candles and white flowers decorated the interior, while a disco, dancefloor and cocktail bar were also set up.
For more information on Liz Taylor's party planning services see tlc-ltd.co.uk.