Sadness for fans as Coronation Street star dies

CORONATION Street star Dilys Watling has died aged 78 after suffering from a long illness.

The Tony Award nominated actress, who played Merle Baker in the soap in 1966, passed away on August 10.

Described as a “trailblazer” by her heartbroken family, the Two Ronnies star passed away at her home in Clapham Common, and leaves behind her son Ion.

Dilys was born in Fulmer Chase, Bucks, in May 1943, to parents Ion Rhys Jones and Patricia Hicks.

She has four half-siblings, including Dr Who actress Deborah Watling, who died in 2017, and actor and Clacton MP Giles Watling.

In a tribute to the actress, her brother Giles said: “Dilys was a much-loved sister and was the eldest of the five of us.

“She led the way and was a real trailblazer for the rest of us.

“She took Broadway by storm in the late 1960s, playing the eponymous role of Georgy – and we were proud when she was nominated for a Tony Award.”

More to follow…