Coronation Street star Roy Barraclough dies at 81

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Former Coronation Street star Roy Barraclough has died at the age of 81.

A spokesman for the Lancashire-born actor said he died on Thursday following a short illness.

A star on the stage and screen, Barraclough was best known for his role as Alec Gilroy in the ITV soap.

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Gavin Barker Associates said in a statement: "Our client Roy Barraclough has passed away today aged 81 after a short illness."

Barraclough appeared as a talent agent in Corrie in the early 1970s before becoming a regular face on the cobbles from 1986 until 1992 and returning again in 1996 for two years.

As Gilroy, he was best known for his stormy marriage to Bet Lynch, played by Julie Goodyear.

His other TV work includes roles in Casualty, Last Of The Summer Wine and Last Tango In Halifax.

Last year, Barraclough appeared in the BBC's one-off tribute to Are You Being Served? as Mr Grainger.

In 2006, Barraclough was awarded the MBE for services to drama and his charity work.

His philanthropic efforts included more than 20 years as a patron of Willow Wood Hospice in Greater Manchester.

He died at the hospice following his illness.