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Friday, 1 December, 2000, 17:10 GMT
Street star leaves hospital
Forensic scientists
Forensic scientists are combing the flat for evidence
Coronation Street actor John Savident has left hospital 12 hours after being admitted with stab wounds.

The 62-year-old, who plays butcher Fred Elliot, was attacked at his flat near the Granada Television studios in Manchester early on Friday.

He was treated at the Manchester Royal Infirmary for neck wounds.

A 28-year-old man is being questioned by police.

Savident looked pale and frail as he left the hospital on Friday afternoon.

John Savident and nurse
John Savident said he was overwhelmed by all the flowers people had sent
Speaking with difficulty, he told reporters outside the hospital: "I don't feel at all well but thanks go to the great staff at the hospital.

"They made a few tortuous hours very comfortable and very warming and welcoming.

"I want to say thank you to all the people who sent me flowers. I mean, I am quite overwhelmed. I really can't thank you enough. I am really gobsmacked."

The entrance to the exclusive block of flats where Savident lives was sealed off earlier on Friday and forensic science teams were searching for evidence.

At the back of the flats, Savident's garage was sealed off.

A police spokesman said he could not confirm reports that a robbery had taken place at the flat.

A spokeswoman for Granada, which makes the ITV soap, said: "Everyone is really, really shocked that anything like this could happen."

Savident has played the role of Fred Elliott since 1994.

A former policeman in Manchester, he left the force in the early 60s.

John Savident
The actor may not now appear in a live anniversary episode of the soap

In an interview last year he said: "Britain is becoming more like the mean streets of the Bronx than the cobbled streets of Weatherfield.

"If you walk around Manchester with your eyes slightly shut you would swear you're in Los Angeles."

He was stabbed in the arm during his time as a policeman, when he was involved in breaking up a gang fight.

Savident has had a string of film and theatre roles during his 30-year career.

In the early 90s he was set to play Robert Maxwell on stage until the production was scuppered by legal problems.

Anniversary

Granada Television denied the incident would throw next weekend's live episode of Coronation Street into chaos.

The cast are preparing for a live episode on 8 December to mark the programme's 40th anniversary.

A spokesman said Savident was due to appear in it, but could be written out if he is too ill to perform.

"There is a script almost ready and the read-through starts on Monday," a spokesman said.

"It all depends on John's recovery, it depends how serious his injuries are as to whether he will be in it."

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From the beat to the Street
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