Touching tribute planned for Coronation Street's Jean Alexander

ITV is to pay tribute to former Coronation Street actress Jean Alexander, who died in October this year aged 90.

The actress played the much-loved character Hilda Ogden between 1964 and 1987.

She died in hospital, and her family said she had recently undergone tests and was readmitted on her birthday after “feeling a little bit poorly”.

Now ITV has announced it will remember her with an hour-long tribute programme, to be aired on December 20.

The programme will feature tributes from her family, as well as her former Corrie co-stars such as William Roache, Michael Le Vell and Sally Dynevor.

The official programme synopsis says that other celebrities such as Paul O’Grady will also speak about her.

(Toby Melville/PA)
The Liverpool-born actress won the nation’s heart with her turn as the pinny-wearing, sharp-tongued cleaning lady who was rarely seen without a set of tightly-wound hair curlers.

Fans tuned in in vast numbers to watch her daily battle to get her inept husband, Stan, out of the Rovers Return and into work.

When she decided to leave Weatherfield in 1987, nearly 30 million people watched her farewell episode, reports have said.

In the years after leaving the cobbles she became a mainstay of BBC sitcom Last Of The Summer Wine as eccentric bric-a-brac shop owner Auntie Wainwright.

(William Conran/PA)
In 2005 she was voted as the greatest soap opera star of all time and there were calls for Hilda to be memorialised.

She said at the time: “I just couldn’t see myself stood on a pedestal cast in bronze.

“Knowing my luck, the Southport seagulls would find me and do their worst, as they have done before – usually when I have just washed my hair.”

She starred in Last Of The Summer Wine until 2010, and continued to enjoy celebrity status after her retirement in 2012, her niece, Sonia Hearld, told the Press Association.

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