Corries's William Roache pays tribute to Johnny Briggs after playing love rivals

Coronation Street’s William Roache has paid tribute to his long-time scene partner and on-screen love rival Johnny Briggs following news of his death.

The pair stood alongside each other for 30 years as Ken Barlow and Mike Baldwin, whose fiery clashes often ended up with fistfights down the Rovers.

But while Ken and Mike were constantly at loggerheads, William has nothing but fond memories of his co-star, and after it was announced today that Johnny had died at the age of 85, he paid his condolences.

In a statement released by the actor, William said: ‘So sorry to hear about Johnny.

‘Mike Baldwin and Ken Barlow were arch enemies for many years, but as an actor, Johnny was impeccable, always good, and I was so fortunate to have worked with him for so many years.

‘He was a strong character who will be greatly missed. I send my love to Johnny on his journey and to all those who are bound to miss him, he was an iconic Coronation Street character.

‘Love you Johnny!’

Ken and Mike’s feud dates back to 1982, when Mike started a steamy affair with Deidre (Anne Kirkbride), Ken’s wife.

The resulting clash triggered a feud that would last more than 20 more years, with things getting worse by the time the decade was out when Mike went on to marry Ken’s daughter Susan (Wendy Jane Walker).

The duo eventually locked heads in a legal battle for her son Adam when she died in 2001.

The affair became one of the biggest talking points of the UK, and in the years that followed, Ken and Mike would often be forced into ‘odd couple’ plot lines, having to work together for their loved ones.

This included helping out Deidre when she was wrongly arrested for fraud in 1998, and sticking together during an armed robbery at the supermarket in 2000.

In a fitting full-circle moment to round off Mike and Ken’s story, it was Ken that found Mike wandering the streets lost in 2006.

The character, who had Alzheimer’s disease, had broken out of the hospital in confusion as his memory began to wane.

Mike then suffered a heart attack, and died in Ken’s arms on the same cobbles they had fought on for so many years.

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