Roy Barraclough Alec Gilroy Coronation Street
Roy Barraclough playing Alec Gilroy in Coronation Street ITV

Coronation Street legend Roy Barraclough has died aged 81. The actor and long-time comedy partner of Les Dawson passed away on Thursday (1 June) following a short illness, his agent confirmed in a statement.

Barraclough was best known for his role as Rovers Return landlord Alec Gilroy in the ITV soap. His character's turbulent marriage to Bet Lynch, played by Julie Goodyear, was at the centre of many storylines.

In 2011 he spoke fondly of his time on the show, saying: "They brought me in to run a drinking club as they had a story where the Rovers was going to burn down and would therefore be out of use for some time."

Away from the cobbles, the Lancashire-born star won over the hearts of the nation with his double act with Les Dawson, who passed away in 1993, with their Cissie and Ada sketch being a firm favourite.

His acting credits includes Casualty, Last Of The Summer Wine and Last Tango In Halifax.

In 2006, he was awarded an MBE for services to drama and to charity and had been a patron of Willow Wood Hospice in Greater Manchester for more than 20 years.

Leading the tributes, Dawson's daughter Charlotte said she was "devastated" at the news of his death, adding: "At least you get to be reunited with my daddy."