Bill Roach has opened up about saying goodbye to Anne Kirkbride, who played his onscreen wife in Coronation Street for 35 years. The pair, who portrayed Ken and Deirdre Barlow on the show, had a close relationship, and the actor revealed that he can still feel her presence on set. Speaking to Radio Times about Anne, who passed away from breast cancer in 2015, he said: "Even now, I can still feel her around. It's very powerful, particularly at the Barlows', where Ken and Deirdre were called up to do a lot of shouting. But I know all is well for her. And you get to the point where you can think about the happy times and enjoy them."
Anne passed away in 2015
He added: "She's only ever a thought away - love is a great connector. I can say to Annie, 'Didn't we have a great time?' They love it if you become happy again and think about them in a loving way." He also spoke about saying goodbye to Anne in his new memoir, Life and Soul. He wrote: "I had been at her bedside that night, Monday, January 19, 2015, along with others close to her… I held her hand. I felt a tremor and hoped that was a sign she knew I was with her. I thanked her for everything. 'Goodbye, Annie,' I said. 'You know you're going to a beautiful place.'"
Bill opened up about saying goodbye to his onscreen wife
Anne's funeral was held in a private ceremony with her co-stars Bill, Johnny Briggs and Beverley Callard in attendance. It was followed by a public memorial service held at Manchester Cathedral. Just a few days after Anne's death, Adam Woodyatt, from rival soap EastEnders dedicated an award to Anne, affectionately calling the 'the Weatherfield One' in relation to one of her most popular storylines which saw her on trial for fraud.