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Coronation Street star John Savident dies aged 86

Broadcasting

Coronation Street star John Savident dies aged 86

John Savident, who played Fred Elliott in Coronation Street, has died aged 86.

His agent said in a statement:

“We are sad to announce the death of the actor John Savident who died on Wednesday 21 February. He was a much-loved husband and father of two and will be sorely missed by all who knew him.”

Savident portrayed the unlucky-in-love butcher for a span of twelve years, from 1994 to 2006. Thanks to his booming voice and penchant for repeating phrases, Fred became a beloved character among fans.

Raffles, YTV, 1977

Tightrope, ATV, 1970

He notably faced numerous setbacks in his romantic endeavours, having endured three unsuccessful marriages and several rejected proposals. In 2006, he was killed off after experiencing a stroke on the day he was due to marry Bev Unwin, played by Susie Blake.

In addition to running Elliott & Son, a butcher’s shop, alongside his son Ashley Peacock (Steven Arnold), Fred also served as landlord of the Rovers from 2001 to 2006.

Coronation Street statement:

“Everyone at Coronation Street is deeply saddened to learn of John Savident’s death. As Fred Elliott, John firmly established himself in the pantheon of Coronation Street greats. His peerless comic timing, combined with a deep pathos arising from his outstanding dramatic skill, made Fred an unforgettable, iconic character that provided great joy to viewers for many years.”

ITV Statement:

“Our thoughts are with John’s family and friends, and everyone on the Coronation Street team.”

Coronation Street, Granada Television, Fred and son Ashley

Coronation Street, Granada Television, Claire, Fred, Bev, Ashley and Joshua / Fred and Ashley in a festive fancy dress

Following his departure from Coronation Street, Savident openly criticised the declining standards of the soap opera, which he attributed to the increase in episodes.

Savident’s other credits include the movie A Clockwork Orange and television appearances in children’s thriller Tightrope (ATV), political sitcom Yes, Minister (BBC), action drama The Saint (ITC/ATV), medical soap Emergency Ward 10 (ATV) and time travel serial Doctor Who (BBC). He was also in the pilot episode of The Black Adder which was only aired for the first time last year on UKTV’s Gold channel. Before beginning his acting career, he worked as a police officer.

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