Tony Warren, the creator and award-winning scriptwriter of Coronation Street, has passed away at the age of 79. His death was confirmed on the soap's official Twitter account via a spokesperson who wrote: "It's with great sadness that Coronation Street confirms legendary creator & writer Tony Warren, MBE has passed away."
ITV also released a statement revealing that Tony, whose full name was Anthony McVay Simpson, passed away peacefully on Tuesday night, surrounded by his family and friends. Tony had been suffering a short illness.
"All who worked with Tony throughout his illustrious career had the utmost respect for his achievements and he remained a consultant on the Manchester-based soap until the day he died," the statement continued.
CLICK TO VIEW GALLERY
Coronation Street was named the longest-running TV soap in the world in 2010
The late scriptwriter was also an actor and a novelist, but his most remarkable career achievement was creating Coronation Street in 1959. The idea came to him late one night when Tony was 23, and he was returning to Manchester via train.
According to BBC producer Olive Shapley, Tony suddenly woke him up saying, "Olive, I've got this wonderful idea for a television series. I can see a little back street in Salford, with a pub at one end and a shop at the other, and all the lives of the people there, just ordinary things."
"Oh. Tony, how boring! Go back to sleep," Olive replied.
Tony Warren, pictured with his wife, suffered a short illness
Tony never let the producer forget his error of judgement; Coronation Street, which was originally created as Florizel Street in 1960, became the longest-running TV soap in the world in 2010.
The soap mastermind was recognised for his work in 1994 when he was made an MBE for his services to television drama.
Celebrities from the TV world have been paying tribute to Tony on social media. Samia Ghadie, who plays Maria Connor on the soap, tweeted: "So saddened to hear that Tony Warren has died. He was the truly wonderful man who gave us @itvcorrie .. #RipTony we will never forget you."
"With heavy heart & great sadness I can confirm that our pal Tony Warren has died. He leaves the greatest legacy. I'll miss him so much," wrote Antony Cotton.
Bill Roache added: "Tony was the father of Coronation Street and he gave us all so much."
Martin Kemp, who starred in EastEnders, posted: "RIP Tony Warren 'The Godfather of Soap' thoughts with your many friends and family!"