Actor and star of Coronation Street

Born: January 26, 1940;

Died: December 4, 2018

PETER Armitage, who has died aged 78, was an actor who appeared on and off on Coronation Street for more than 30 years. He first appeared in the soap opera in 1984 as Bill Webster, Kevin Webster's father, and did several spells in the show before his last appearance in 2011

Armitage first began as a jobbing actor in television in the 1970s, appearing in shows such as Crown Court, the Sweeney and The Professionals.

He first featured in Coronation Street in 1984, joining Michael Le Vell as his son Kevin for six months before returning to the role of Bill Webster between 1995 to 1997. He was written out then when his character ran off to Germany with Fred Elliott's wife Maureen.

His third stint on the Street began in 2006, but in 2011 he was told by the producer Phil Collinson that there was no future for his character. This time, Bill went off travelling with his girlfriend Pam.

Away from Coronation Street, Armitage played played parts in Jack the Ripper, the 1988 mini-series starring Michael Caine and Jane Seymour. He also appeared in the award-winning 1995 series Hearts and Minds. Written by Jimmy McGovern, it followed the travails of a young teacher, played by Christopher Eccleston, who leaves his job at a factory to work at a tough Liverpool high school.

More recently, Armitage had roles in Casualty, The Royal and Holby City. He was also well-known for appearing in a Yellow Pages advert in the 1980s as a father trying to convince his son not to have a racing bike as a birthday present. The advert ends with Armitage saying the line: "I were right about that saddle though!".

In 2014, Armitage revealed that he had been treated for cancer and spoke to The Mirror about his diagnosis. "I first noticed a problem last May when I was down in Perpignan in France for my cousin's 80th birthday party," he said. "I noticed a little bleeding in a bowel movement, so when I got home about ten days later I went to my doctor.

"They say smoking and bad diet could have links to bowel cancer, but I'm normally a fit and healthy sort of bloke."

Armitage urged others to make sure they got checked out by a doctor. "I'd like to say to other people - if you see something untoward, get to the doctor straight away. Don't let embarrassment put you off - because embarrassment with cancer could kill you."

Peter Armitage is survived by his two children.