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Guernsey-born soap star dies

Guernsey-born soap star dies

Saturday 24 February 2024

Guernsey-born soap star dies

Saturday 24 February 2024

A Guernsey-born actor who starred in Coronation Street for over a decade has died.

John Savident, best known for his role as Fred Elliott in Coronation Street, died aged 86 on Wednesday 21 February.

A statement issued by his agent to the PA news agency read: "We are sad to announce the death of the actor John Savident who died on Wednesday 21 February, he was a much-loved husband and father of two and will be sorely missed by all who knew him."

The actor was born in Guernsey in January 1938, meaning he was just two years old at the beginning of the German Occupation. 

Mr Savident was not evacuated prior to the Occupation, but he and his family are understood to have left the island and escaped to Britain in a fishing boat.

He remained living in the UK after the Occupation had ended, and started work as a policeman on leaving school before taking up acting professionally.

Mr Savident appeared in theatre productions including a run of the Phantom of the Opera in London, television shows including Blake's 7, The Saint, Yes Minister and Doctor Who, and films including The Remains of the Day and A Clockwork Orange, before taking his first steps on to the famed cobbles of Coronation Street in 1994. 

He joined the cast of the longest running soap opera in the world as butcher Fred Elliot, who was well known for his catchphrase "I say, I say..." as he often repeated his words. 

The character was involved in some of the most memorable storylines of the 1990s and early 00s, often around his misguided romantic intentions which saw him marry three times, along with other attempted unions. 

One of Fred Elliott's storylines saw him involved in a mail order bride scam, where he was fleeced out of thousands of pounds by a friend and a young woman posing as a potential bride from Thailand.

This storyline is currently playing out in repeats of Coronation Station which are aired daily on ITV3 under the banner of 'Classic Coronation Street'. 

The classic episodes currently playing out are from 2004.

Fred Elliot died of a stroke in scenes aired in 2006 after Mr Savident chose to retire from the show for "personal reasons".

Mr Savident spent his retirement years living in Hertfordshire with his family.

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