'Coronation Street' star Eileen Derbyshire loses husband after battle with Alzheimer's

·2 min read
Eileen Derbyshire played Emily Bishop in Coronation Street from 1961 to 2019. (ITV)
Eileen Derbyshire - who played Emily Bishop in Coronation Street - has lost her husband. (ITV)

Coronation Street star Eileen Derbyshire is mourning the death of her husband following his battle with Alzheimer's disease.

The 89-year-old actress – who has played Emily Bishop in the ITV soap for 58 years – lost her longtime partner Thomas W Holt earlier this month.

The couple's only son, the Mail On Sunday sports columnist Oliver Holt, 54, as at his father's bedside.

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Writing in his column at the weekend Holt shared memories of his father's devotion to Stockport County football team.

He revealed: "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."

Holt added: "County and Stockport Viaduct, a landmark of which he was inordinately proud, were two of the last things I mentioned to him before he died last weekend.

Eileen Derbyshire (L) and Barbara Knox, actresses in British television programme 'Coronation Street', pose for photographers with their MBEs (Member of the British Empire), after they were awarded them by Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, during an Investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace in London on November 3, 2010.         AFP PHOTO / Dominic Lipinski / Pool (Photo credit should read Dominic Lipinski/AFP via Getty Images)
Eileen Derbyshire and Corrie co -star Barbara Knox were awarded MBEs by the Queen in 2010.

"He was unconscious by the time I arrived but, after I had been sitting at his bedside for a while, I told him I’d been to watch the home game against Sutton United 10 days earlier. I told him that when I sat down, I’d made a point of glancing over – just as I always do – to the seats in Section A where we sat that first time he took me to Edgeley Park. I told him I could still see the man in the sheepskin jacket. I told him I could still smell the cigar smoke."

Corrie star Derbyshire met former engineer Thomas in 1964 and they married in 1965.

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She starred as Emily Bishop in the soap since 1961 - making her the longest serving female actor in a soap.

She left in 2015, citing personal reasons, but returned for a cameo appearance in 2019 for Ken Barlow's 80th birthday.

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