Who did Johnny Briggs play in Coronation Street and why did he leave the soap?

1 March 2021, 08:39

Johnny Briggs has died at the age of 85
Johnny Briggs has died at the age of 85. Picture: PA Images/Getty Images

Johnny Briggs has sadly passed away at the age of 85 after suffering 'a long illness', here's a look at his character Mike Baldwin's time on Coronation Street...

It was announced over the weekend that Johnny Briggs has sadly died aged 85 after "a long illness, with family by his side".

The actor was best known for playing Mike Baldwin in ITV soap Coronation Street and was made an MBE in the New Year's Honours in 2007.

His Corrie co-stars have now paid tribute to the star, with William Roache, who played Baldwin's long-term rival Ken Barlow, calling him a "strong character who will be greatly missed".

"Mike Baldwin and Ken Barlow were arch enemies for many years, but as an actor, Johnny was impeccable, always good, and I was so fortunate to have worked with him for so many years," he said.

Johnny Briggs was awarded an MBE in 2007
Johnny Briggs was awarded an MBE in 2007. Picture: PA Images

Sue Nicholls, who plays Audrey Roberts, added he was ‘a great friend and always fun to be around’.

Here’s a look back at Johnny’s life on the Cobbles...

Who did Johnny Briggs play in Coronation Street?

Johnny Briggs was cast as Mike Baldwin in Coronation Street in 1976 in a bid to boost audience figures.

He became one of the show's central characters for three decades until his final appearance on 7 April 2006.

Among the biggest storylines, Mike's affair with Deirdre Barlow (Anne Kirkbride) while she was still married to her husband Ken Barlow (William Roache) was one of the most popular.

Johnny Briggs appeared on Coronation Street for 30 years
Johnny Briggs appeared on Coronation Street for 30 years. Picture: PA Images

The storyline went on until 1983 and became a ratings winner, with Deidre finally ending her affair and reconciling with Ken.

The news was so big at the time that it ended up being announced on the scoreboard during a Manchester United v Arsenal match at Old Trafford - with the words ‘Ken and Deirdre reunited. Ken 1 – Mike 0’.

This love triangle sparked a feud between Mike and Ken that continued for the next two decades, with Mike later marrying Ken's daughter Susan (Wendy Jane Walker).

Why did Mike Baldwin leave Coronation Street?

Mike Baldwin left Coronation Street in 2006 after being diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.

The storyline started in late 2005 and continued on for a year until Mike collapsed and died in the arms of Ken.