The late star's husband approves plans by Coronation Street bosses to give her a spectacular send-off

Coronation Street bosses will give Deirdre Barlow actress Anne Kirkbride the ‘biggest funeral’ the soap has ever seen.

Anne was 60 when she passed away from breast cancer in January this year, and producers have been consulting with her husband David Beckett, who is said to be ‘very happy’ with their planned explanation of her death and send-off.

A storyline was created to cover her absence from the Street until now by saying she was visiting friends down south.

But now bosses will give the Weatherfield favourite a spectacular send off after deciding to reveal her death, and are set to film Deirdre being laid to rest this summer.

A show source told The Sun: ‘It will be the equivalent to a state funeral in soap terms.

‘All the current cast will be there and there may be some old favourites brought back to pay their respects.

‘Filming it will be incredibly tough for the actors.

‘They were all so close to her as a person and it is inevitable that they will be thinking of her and her passing on the day.’

The ITV soap funeral will also be a way for many of the cast who were unable to go to Anne’s own private funeral in January, to pay their own tribute to the much-loved actress.

Anne joined the soap in 1972, but her character Deirdre Barlow’s heavy framed spectacles and husky voice turned her into an overnight star loved by millions.

Anne kept her cancer battle quiet and had been planning a big comeback to the soap after taking three months off to fight the disease.

Her death stunned her colleagues, and they all attended the National Television Awards to honour her during an emotional tribute led by William Roache who played her on-screen husband Ken Barlow.

Coronation Street actress Anne Kirkbride, Deirdre Barlow, life story in pictures

Sarah Robertson