TV

Corrie star Eileen Derbyshire’s husband dies after long Alzheimer’s battle

Coronation Street icon Eileen Derbyshire’s husband of 56 years Thomas W. Holt has died after a long battle with Alzheimer's.

The 89-year-old star's husband sadly passed away last weekend with the couple's son, Oliver, by his bedside.

Eileen, who has played Emily Bishop for 58 years, had been with the retired engineer since they met in 1964.

The couple later resided in a large cottage in Cheshire.

Their only child Oliver, who is a sports journalist, announced his father's death as he wrote about their shared love of football in his column for Mail Online.

He recalled how his beloved dad took him to his first game at Stockport County's Edgeley Park and said mourning him had made him realise what football really means to fans who have been unable to go to games during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Oliver penned: "My dad never forgot Stockport even when he was deep into his struggle with Alzheimer’s Disease.

"He wanted to go back there and revisit all the places of his youth. Sometimes, he asked me if I’d give him the bus fare for the journey.

"I hope those who run the game do not forget how vital these (smaller) clubs are to the social fabric of this country, how they still glue families together when so much of the glue is dissolving."

It’s thought that Thomas had been ill for sometime.

Eileen, who still holds the title as the longest serving female on a soap opera, left the cobbles in 2015.

The actress was granted time off by bosses for personal reasons and executives went on to share that she refused to call time on her career as one of the biggest names in soap.

They insisted the door has been left open for her to return at any time, although there are "no immediate plans" for Emily to return to Weatherfield.

Emily is regularly referenced on screen, most recently during an episode in 2019.

TV star Eileen, who joined Coronation Street back in January 1961, also filmed cameos on the soap in 2016, and again in 2019.

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After she decided to take a break, writers penned a storyline that saw the poplar character go to South America to spend time with hippy nephew Spider.

Emily made a surprise return to the soap in 2019 via satellite as she recorded a video message for her dear friend Ken Barlow (William Roache) as he marked his 80th birthday in the Rovers Return surrounded by his friends and family

Coronation Street continues on ITV on Monday at 7.30pm and 8.30pm

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