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Coronation Street spoiler alert: Deirdre Barlow laid to rest in emotional funeral scenes

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The cast of Coronation Street will pay tribute to Anne Kirkbride in the ITV soap on Monday. The late actress' character Deirdre Barlow will be laid to rest in an emotional funeral service attended by both current and former cast members.

The heart-wrenching scenes were filmed this spring following Anne's death in January. The episode proved incredibly difficult for the actors to film as many stars including Beverley Callard and William Roche had forged close relationships with the actress off screen.

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Deirdre Barlow's funeral will be held on Monday

Stills from Monday evening's episode show Beverley and William's characters, Liz McDonald and Ken Barlow leading the funeral and acting as pallbearers for Deirdre along with Kevin Webster, Dev Alahan and Steve McDonald.

Deirdre's daughter Tracy, grandchildren Amy and Simon and neighbours including Roy Cropper, Leanne Battersby and Kirk Sutherland are among the mourners at the emotional service – which also sees Tracy's former husband Robert make a surprise return to the street 12 years after he last appeared in the long-running soap.

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Deirdre's close friends and husband Ken Barlow act as pall bearers

The funeral episode follows Wednesday's devastating revelation that Deirdre has passed away while staying with her friend Bev Unwin. While her beloved family are excitedly planning for Deirdre's 60th birthday and homecoming party, it is left to Bev to break the tragic news.

Anne passed away on 19 January at the age of 60 following a short battle with breast cancer. Scriptwriters spent weeks working on a storyline to give her character Deirdre a "dignified" send-off, and approved the scenes with Anne's husband David Beckett and her family before filming.

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The emotional scenes were approved by Anne Kirkbride's family

Anne's colleagues and friends at Coronation Street have been doing everything they can to ensure she is remembered following her death, and revealed that they will keep her name on her dressing room door as a permanent tribute to her.

Many also gathered along with Anne's friends, family and members of the public to pay their respects at a memorial service at Manchester Cathedral on 30 May.