Coronation Street stars honour John Savident as he dies aged 86

The death has been announced of former Coronation Street actor John Savident.

John, who was best known for his role as butcher Fred Elliot on the ITV soap, has passed away at the age of 86.

In a statement released earlier today, John’s agent said: “We are sad to announce the death of the actor John Savident who died on Wednesday 21 February, he was a much-loved husband and father of two and will be sorely missed by all who knew him.”

Following the devastating news, the team behind Coronation Street took to social media to express their sympathies.

Alongside a photo of John in character as Fred, they wrote: “Everyone at Coronation Street is deeply saddened to learn of John Savident’s death. As Fred Elliott, John firmly established himself in the pantheon of Coronation Street greats.”

They added: “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.”

Many Corrie stars have since gone on to share their tributes to their late castmate.

Credit: ITV

“Rest in peace John.. I’ll remember you fondly x,” penned Samia Longchambon, who plays Maria Connor.

Corrie legend, I say Corrie legend,” replied Jane Danson, otherwise known as Leanne Battersby.

“I literally said 'I say, I say' this morning, a legend of the cobbles,” praised Luke Delaney, who played Dave Fairchild.

“Very sad news x,” added Andy Whyment, known to viewers as Kirk Sutherland.

Credit: ITV

Prior to becoming an actor, John enjoyed a career as a policeman. His first acting role was in the original production of Phantom of the Opera in 1986. 

After joining Coronation Street in 1994, John’s character Fred was killed off in 2006, suffering a stroke on the day he was supposed to marry Bev Unwin (played by Susie Blake).

John is survived by his wife Rona Hopkinson, whom he married in 1961, and their two children.