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Last Updated: Saturday, 30 December 2006, 01:10 GMT
MBE for former Street star Briggs
Johnny Briggs
Briggs won the British Soap Awards lifetime achievement prize
Actor Johnny Briggs, best known for playing Mike Baldwin in Coronation Street, has been made an MBE in the New Year Honours List.

Born 5 September 1935 in Battersea, London, he appeared in several British shows, including Crossroads, before joining the cast of Coronation Street.

He was involved in emotional death scenes when his character was killed off after 30 years in April.

Briggs won this year's British Soap Award for lifetime achievement

Stage school

As a child he was evacuated to the countryside during World War II.

Back in London at the age of 12, he decided to embark on a career in showbusiness and won a scholarship to the Italia Conti stage school in London.

Actress Nanette Newman and entertainer Anthony Newley were among his classmates.

In 1953, Johnny began two years of service in Germany with the Royal Tank Regiment before resurrecting his acting career.

Johnny Briggs (left) in Coronation Street
Actor Johnny Briggs was one of Coronation Street's longest-serving stars

He landed roles in several Carry On films as well as the ITV police drama No Hiding Place.

It was not until 1976 that the actor landed the part of Mike Baldwin.

He first appeared as a boyfriend of then Rovers barmaid Bette Lynch, memorably played by Julie Goodyear, before falling in love with single mother Deirdre Langton, played Anne Kirkbridge.

It was because of Deirdre, who remains in the soap, that Mike began a bitter rivalry with Ken Barlow, played by William Roache, who eventually married her.

However Ken later discovered the couple had been having an affair behind his back.

The demise of Mike in April, which drew in 12 million viewers, was made all the more poignant as he died in the arms of Ken, following a battle with Alzheimer's.

Jailed daughter

Briggs became so involved with his character's condition that he is now backing a fund-raising appeal with the Alzheimer's Society to help those affected by the disease.

In 1995, Briggs briefly flirted with a pop career and entered the UK charts at number 35 with his co-star Amanda Barrie, who played Alma in Coronation Street, with a version of Frank and Nancy Sinatra's Somethin' Stupid.

Briggs, an avid golf player, has been married twice and has six children. In 1999, his daughter, Karen, was jailed for stealing her mother's jewellery.




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