Coronation Street stars unite for funeral of soap's creator Tony Warren MBE

Jack White

Coronation Street stars past and present united on Friday to attend the funeral of Tony Warren MBE, the show's creator. He passed away earlier this month aged 79 after a short illness.

Tony founded the long-running ITV soap in 1960 when he was just 24-years-old, and actors and former colleagues gathered at Manchester Cathedral to pay their respects.

The funeral was open for fans to attend, with the soap's Twitter account extending the invitation to all. A post read: "The funeral of Coronation Street creator Tony Warren MBE will take place today. All welcome."

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Kym Marsh and co-star Alison King attended the funeral

Cast members in attendance included Bruno Langley, Sue Cleaver, Sally Dynevor, Kym Marsh and Alison King. Kym, who plays Michelle Connor, recently opened up about finding out the devastating news of Tony's passing.

Writing in her column for OK! Magazine, Kym said: "I phone work to tell them I'd be late as I was at the hospital with [daughter] Polly, then they called me back to say that production had been stopped as a mark of respect to Tony. It's such sad news."

Bill Roache, who has played Ken Barlow since the soap's very first episode arrived at the funeral with Rita Sullivan actress Barbara Knox.

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Tony Warren MBE was just 24 when he created Coronation Street

Shortly after the news was announced, Bill said: "When I first met Tony I couldn't quite believe he had created and written Coronation Street because he was no more than a young boy. It was his boyish energy even recently when I saw him that I'll remember."

Corrie icon Julie Goodyear, who shot to fame as Rovers Return landlady Bet Lynch, joined current stars Jane Danson, Anthony Cotton and Samia Ghadie, who play Leanne Tilsley, Sean Tully and Maria Connor, at the cathedral today.

John Whiston, Soaps Creative Director at ITV, paid tribute to Tony and insisted his legacy will live on through the soap. He said: "Amid the many much deserved tributes to Tony Warren, surely there can be no greater tribute than the show he created 56 years ago and is still the number TV show on British TV."

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