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Coronation Street stars pay tribute to late John Savident

Coronation Street has paid tribute to actor John Savident following his death at the age of 86.

News of Savident's death was confirmed by his agent on Friday (February 23) who wrote that the actor will be "sorely missed by all who knew him".

On Instagram, the ITV soap shared a photo of Savident in character as Fred Elliot and wrote: "Everyone at Coronation Street is deeply saddened to learn of John Savident’s death.

john savident
Ken McKay/Shutterstock

"As Fred Elliott, John firmly established himself in the pantheon of Coronation Street greats.

"His peerless comic timing, combined with a deep pathos arising from his outstanding dramatic skill, made Fred an unforgettable, iconic character that provided great joy to viewers for many years."

Jane Danson, who plays Leanne Battersby on the soap, said: "Corrie legend. I say Corrie legend," quoting Elliot's famous "I say, I say" catchphrase.

Samia Longchambon, who plays Maria Connor, wrote: "Rest in peace John... I’ll remember you fondly."

In a statement to Digital Spy, Sue Nicholls, who plays Audrey Roberts and worked closely with Savident on the soap, said: “I am very sad to hear of John’s passing.

"My memories of working with you dear John on the street are a joy, and always will be. God bless you and thank you for being in my life. Much love to you and your friends and family.”

Savident joined the soap in 1994, quickly becoming a favourite through his relationship with son Ashley and his disastrous love life.

john savident johnny briggs pauline flemming coronation street
ITV/Shutterstock

Fred died from a stroke on the day he was due to marry Bev Unwin, after former love interest Audrey Roberts had confessed her love for him. His last words to Audrey were: "Be happy. I say be happy."

Coronation Street airs on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 8pm on ITV1 and streams on ITVX.

Read more Coronation Street spoilers on our dedicated homepage

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