Coronation Street icon John Savident dies aged 86

Virgin Radio

23 Feb 2024, 11:55

John Savident smiling and as Coronation Street's Fred Elliott

Credit: Rex

John Savident, best known for his role as Coronation Street’s Fred Elliott, has died at the age of 86.

The news was announced via his agent on Friday, 23rd February. In a statement made to the Press Association news agency, his agent said: “We are sad to announce the death of the actor John Savident, who died on Wednesday," the BBC reports.

“He was a much-loved husband and father of two and will be sorely missed by all who knew him,” the statement also read.

Savident was beloved by Corrie fans for his role as Fred the butcher in the long-running soap opera. He joined the show in 1994 and became a quick favourite owing to his character’s big personality, and Savident’s own iconic booming voice.

Storylines involving Savident’s character included three marriages and several more failed relationships. Fred was also revealed to have a secret son, Ashley Peacock (played by Steven Arnold), in 1999.

Savident’s time on Coronation Street came to an end in 2006 when Fred Elliott was written out of the soap. Fred was killed off after suffering a stroke on the day he had been due to marry his latest fiancée, Bev Unwin (played by Susie Blake).

Alongside his best known role in Coronation Street, Savident also acted in several other notable TV dramas during his career, including the 1986 adaptation of David Copperfield, 1994’s Middlemarch, and most recently Holby City in 2012. He was also the King in the pilot of Blackadder.

The thoughts of everyone at Virgin Radio are with John's friends and family.