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Last Updated: Thursday, 23 September, 2004, 07:51 GMT 08:51 UK
Street star denies 'sacked' story
Johnny Briggs
Briggs has played factory boss Mike Baldwin for 28 years
Coronation Street actor Johnny Briggs has denied reports he is to be sacked after 28 years on the ITV1 soap.

"I think if I'd been fired I would be the first to hear about it," he told GMTV on Thursday, calling the story in the Sun newspaper "ludicrous".

"As far as I know the contract I've got lasts until September 2006," he added.

The Sun quotes unnamed sources that Briggs - who has played Mike Baldwin since 1976 - would be leaving the soap "with a bang" after a long illness.

However, the actor said he "just laughed" when he heard about the story, adding that he would consider taking the tabloid to court.

"It's not very nice to have this on the front page of any newspaper," he said.


"It would be the first time I've ever been sacked in my life. I've been acting since I was 12 and I'm now 69."

Johnny Briggs and Anne Kirkbride
Baldwin's 1983 fling with Deirdre Barlow was a huge ratings winner
According to The Sun, Briggs had told his co-stars that his character was to be axed from the ITV soap.

But the actor - who previously played Clifford Leyton in Crossroads - denied he had revealed anything to his colleagues.

"I'd like to find out what co-stars I've told, because I haven't told anything to anyone."

A Coronation Street spokeswoman said on Thursday morning: "Johnny Briggs is committed to the show until September 2006.

"Mike Baldwin is very much a part of the future of Coronation Street."

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