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Saturday, 9 September, 2000, 20:59 GMT 21:59 UK
Former Street star dies
Former Coronation Street actor Bill Waddington, who played Percy Sugden, has died.
Mr Waddington, who was 84, died at Rotherham Hospital, South Yorkshire, on Saturday morning after an illness.
The actor played grumpy pensioner Mr Sugden in the soap for 14 years.
A Granada TV spokesman said that the Coronation Street team sent their "deepest condolences" to Mr Waddington's friends and family.
He added: "Bill served the Street well for a number of years."
Bill Roache, who has played Ken Barlow for the last 40 years, said: "This has come as a shock."
"He was one of television's great characters and even though he has not been in the show for a while it is an amazing sense of loss when you hear something like that."
Mr Roache, the only member of the original cast still in the show, said Mr Waddington would be missed by the actors and viewers alike.
"People always watch the old ones," he said.
"He was in the show for 14 years which is a big chunk of his life. We will miss him."
Percy Sugden, a flat-capped widower, persistently rejected the advances of blue-rinsed husky-voiced Phyllis Pearce, played by Jill Summers, lodged briefly with Emily Bishop (Eileen Derbyshire) and had a budgie called Randy.
But Mr Waddington left the soap in 1997 after reportedly objecting to its racy storylines.
Aside from starring in a Little Chef television advert, the veteran soap star retired from full-time acting after quitting Coronation Street.
His 50-year acting career also included roles in programmes such as Family At War, Dear Enemy, Fallen Hero and The Mating Season.
The Granada spokesman said he believed Mr Waddington, who lived in South Yorkshire, had been ill for several years and added that his family are "very upset".
Mr Waddington was married with two daughters.