Peter Armitage death: Coronation Street legend who played Bill Webster dies aged 78

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Legend: Peter Armitage as Bill Webster: ITV
Legend: Peter Armitage as Bill Webster: ITV

Coronation Street actor Peter Armitage has died, four years after beating bowel cancer.

Armitage, who played Kevin Webster’s dad Bill on the long running soap, was 78.

Fellow Corrie star Charlie Lawson broke the news on Twitter as he paid tribute to his “great old friend”.

He posted: “@itvcorrie @simongregson123 It’s with great sadness, that I’ve to tell you my great old friend Pete Armitage has died. RIP mate.”

Tributes flooded in from stars of the soap including Leanne Battersby actress Jane Danson who described him as a "lovely man" while Samia Longchambon, who plays Maria Connor, said he will be "sadly missed".

Simon Gregson, who plays Steve McDonald, tweeted: "I loved Pete what a lovely man very sad RIP lovely man."

Happy family: Armitage with his onscreen son Kevin Webster played by Michael Le Vell
Happy family: Armitage with his onscreen son Kevin Webster played by Michael Le Vell

Georgia Taylor posted: "Aw sad news, Charlie. He was a lovely man xxx."

Armitage made his debut on the Corrie cobbles in 1984 for a brief six month stint. He returned for two years in 1995 and again from 2006 to 2011

Hiding out: Peter Armitage's character had an affair with Sherrie Hewson's Maureen Elliott in the 90s
Hiding out: Peter Armitage's character had an affair with Sherrie Hewson's Maureen Elliott in the 90s

He also enjoyed TV roles in Holby City, Hearts and Minds, Jack the Ripper and children's show Magic Grandad.

Fans will also remember him from a 1983 Yellow Pages advert in which he plays a father trying to convince his son against a racing bike for his birthday, in which he says: "I were right about that saddle though."

Wedding bells: Judy Gridley as Elaine Prior on her wedding day to Bill Webster on Coronation Street
Wedding bells: Judy Gridley as Elaine Prior on her wedding day to Bill Webster on Coronation Street

The Yorkshire-born star was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2013. The following year he opened up about his battle with the disease as well as his hopes of returning to Corrie.

Speaking to the Daily Mirror in 2014 he said: “I first noticed a problem last May when I was down in Perpignan in France for my cousin’s 80th birthday party. I noticed a little bleeding in a bowel movement, so when I got home about ten days later I went to my doctor.

Early days: Peter Armitage as Bill Webster and Anne Cunnigham as Linda Cheveski (Granada Television)
Early days: Peter Armitage as Bill Webster and Anne Cunnigham as Linda Cheveski (Granada Television)

“They say smoking and bad diet could have links to bowel cancer, but I’m normally a fit and healthy sort of bloke.”

He continued: “It's 30 years since I first started on the cobbles and I’ve always come in and out. I’d like to go back again if there’s a storyline for me.”

He is survived by his two children Danny and Sally.

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