Husband Of Corrie’s Anne Kirkbride Speaks Out About Claims She Was A Depressed Alcoholic

Her on-screen Coronation Street husband today told how she was plagued by alcoholism on the set of the soap.

But Anne Kirkbride’s real-life Ken Barlow has also spoken out about the claims, stressing she hadn’t touch “a drop” of drink for decades before her death.

David Beckett, who met Kirkbride on the set of Corrie when he briefly played her handyman boyfriend Dave, said: “Whilst Anne did describe herself as an alcoholic, as many alcoholics do, she had not touched a drop for 30 years or more.”

He made the comment to The Sun in response to a chat also carried by the paper with Corrie veteran Bill Roache, who spent decades as Kirkbride’s Corrie spouse.

Roache, 83, played the Street’s Ken Barlow for 55 years as husband to Deirdre Barlow, portrayed by Kirkbride, above.

He opened up in interviews printed today about how she was a clinically depressed alcoholic who regularly brok down in tears on set during her final months on the show.

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David Beckett as Kirkbride’s on-screen boyfriend in Corrie and, below, last year at her memorial service.

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But Roache, below, admitted she was “off the drink” when she died in January last year at the age of 60.

The actor told The Sun: “What happened with Anne was she was an alcoholic, she was on drugs for depression, but she was a beautiful person.

“She had been alcoholic but she was off the drink. She was on antidepressant drugs all her life. She just started crying a lot and I spent half my life sort of comforting her.

“That got a bit worse. We were holding up scenes because she was being weepy and waily.

“We just thought her medication wasn’t working. You know – you get older, your body changes.”

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His statements are the first time rumours about Kirkbride’s dependence of alcohol have been publicly confirmed by a Corrie cast member.

It was only when Kirkbride was given a three-month break from the cobbles that the husky-voiced actress, who played long-suffering Deirdre for 42 years, found out the full extent health problems – she was suffering from breast cancer and a brain tumour.

Roache, below in a Corrie scene with the actress, revealed she was also left paralysed down her left side during her final days after suffering a stroke.

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He said about her last months: “The management gave her three months out to get herself sorted out, which is what we thought would happen, then she’d come back and be perfectly OK.

“And then they rang one Friday to say she’d had a stroke and was paralysed down the left side.

“They had taken her in for a scan and they found her right lung full of cancer, and she had a brain tumour. They took her into hospital on the Friday and she died on the Monday.

“Her family hadn’t known so in a way that was a blessing.”

Pictures Getty Images/REX Features

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