Former Corrie star Anthony Valentine has passed away at the age of 76. He had been battling Parkinson's disease for some time.
While best known for his roles in Colditz and Raffles, Corrie viewers might remember him as Simon Barlow's maternal grandfather George Wilson between 2009 and 2010.
He appeared in 36 episodes. George had been estranged from his daughter Lucy and didn't know of Simon's existence and was keen to make up for those lost years.
I enjoyed this storyline as it put a twist to Peter's alcoholism when George gave him and Leanne a loan to open a bar, much to Ken's protests. It also introduced a new rival for Ken as they battled to be the best granddad to Simon. Ken dressing up as Santa was another highlight as he tried to get closer to Simon.
His last appearance was in March 2010 when Simon did a runner as he realised that George and his wife Eve were attempting to take Simon with them to Berkshire and away from the Barlows. Peter banished him from any contact with Simon.
On a side note, I believe there was a plot to have George and Blanche romantically involved but unfortunately Maggie Jones' death prevented this. It would have been a great dynamic!
For the BBC's obituary on Anthony Valentine, click here.
And to read a character synopsis of George Wilson on Corriepedia, click here.
Deirdre: A Life on Coronation Street - official ITV tribute to a soap icon. Available here.
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