Coronation Street creator, Tony Warren, has died aged 79.
The soap broke the news on their Twitter account on Wednesday morning, by saying: “It’s with great sadness that Coronation Street confirms legendary creator & writer Tony Warren MBE has passed away.”
ITV has since confirmed that Mr Warren died on Tuesday surrounding by his family and friends.
Tony Warren, who was born Anthony McVay Simpson, was openly gay during the early days of the soap and feared being arrested during the years when homosexuality was still a crime.
He described the show as “queerest soap of them all” and said he wouldn’t have created the show had he not been gay.
When discussing his homosexuality, Mr Warren said that although “a lot of creative people at Granada didn’t care”, he did face a barrage of homophobic remarks from some staff.
“On one occasion I sat there and listened and listened until I got to my feet and said, ‘I have sat here and listened to three poof jokes, an actor described as a poof, a storyline described as too poofy, and I would just like to remind you that without a poof you wouldn’t be in work'”, he said.
“One of them said, ‘but Tony, we didn’t mean you’ and I said. You call my brothers, you call me’.
“I didn’t know I felt so strongly until that moment, and from then on I never pretended to another soul that I was anything other than what I am.”
Cast members from the soap have already taken to social media to pay their respects to him.
Antony Cotton, who plays gay character Sean, said that Mr Warren had left “the greatest legacy”.
Tony Warren started his career with BBC radio before being commissioned to write 13 episodes of a show to be called “A Street Out There” in 1960.
When Coronation Street became successful, he wrote for it until 1968.
He continued to write for it occasionally throughout the 70s.
Later in life, he became known for his novels, ‘The Lights of Manchester’, ‘Foot of the Rainbow’, ‘Behind Closed Doors’ and ‘Full Steam Ahead’.