The cast of Coronation Street will pay tribute to Anne Kirkbride in the ITV soap this summer. The late actress' character Deirdre Barlow will be written out of the show in what a source has said is a storyline fitting for the much-loved star, who appeared in the soap for over 40 years.
Anne died on 19 January following a short battle with breast cancer. Since then scriptwriters from the long-running soap have been working on ways to give her a "dignified" send-off, which has been approved by Anne's husband David Beckett and her family.
Cast members will film the episodes surrounding Deirdre's exit from the soap in the next few weeks.
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Anne Kirkbride passed away in January
A source told The Sun: "It will be the equivalent to a state funeral in soap terms. All the current cast will be there and there may be some old favourites brought back to pay their respects.
"Filming it will be incredibly tough for the actors. They were all so close to her as a person that they'll be thinking of her – and her passing – on the day."
The on-screen funeral will also offer cast members the opportunity to say their goodbyes to Anne, as many weren't aware that Anne was ill during her sabbatical from the soap.
The actress starred in Coronation Street for over 40 years
Anne's colleagues and friends at Coronation Street are making every effort to ensure she is remembered following her sudden death, and it was recently revealed that Anne's name will remain on her dressing room door as a permanent tribute to her.
Brooke Vincent – Sophie Webster on the show – told The Sun: "Anne is still there, she is still around us. Every time we pass her dressing room we see her name and it has been decided that her name will stay there."
The late actress will also be remembered at a memorial service at Manchester Cathedral on 30 May. The service will see Anne's friends, family and co-stars gather together with members of the public to pay their respects.