Bill Roache, who plays Ken Barlow on Coronation Street, is said to be "utterly heartbroken" following the death of his eldest daughter last Friday.

Vanya Roache, aged 50, was 85-year-old Roache's daughter with his first wife Anna Cropper.

The actor has been granted compassionate leave from the soap following the bereavement.

This is sadly not the first child Roache has lost. In 1983, he and his second wife Sara Mottram lost their daughter Edwina to pneumonia aged 18 months. Then in 2009, Sara died suddenly aged 58.

A source told The Sun: "Bill is utterly heartbroken. No father should have to go through the loss of a child, let alone two.

"After hearing the news on Friday he’s been told to take as long as required. There’s no word just yet on when he’ll return."

Vanya, known as Varn to her friends, leaves behind fiance Toby.