Tributes for top Coronation Street scriptwriter Peter

Peter at his typewriter when he first began writing scripts for Coronation Street.
Peter at his typewriter when he first began writing scripts for Coronation Street.

A man who became one of the most successful and prolific scriptwriters for the nation's favourite TV soap, has died after a long battle against cancer.

Peter Whalley penned over 600 episodes of Coronation Street, which is more than any other writer in the show's 57 year history.

Coronation Street scriptwriter Peter Whalley who has died at the age of 71

Coronation Street scriptwriter Peter Whalley who has died at the age of 71

Born and bred in Colne, Peter spent 32 years working for Granada Television and was behind some of the most dramatic and memorable scenes the show has ever seen, including the episode where arch villain Alan Bradley, played by actor Mark Eden is killed by a tram in Blackpool.

Millions tuned in to watch the show as Bradley met his doom as he chased Rita Sullivan, played by Corrie veteran Barbara Knox, who had fled to the seaside town to escape his murderous clutches.

Peter, who had been battling cancer for nine years, also wrote the script for the ground breaking live episode of the show aired in 2010.

A year earlier he was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the British Soap Awards.

Paying tribute to him Coronation Street's executive producer Kieran Roberts described Peter, who was a lifelong Burnley fan and season ticket holder, as a "prolific and brilliant writer."

He said: “Everyone who knew Peter will also remember the lovely man behind the great writing talent.

"Peter was an invaluable source of great ideas and equally great wisdom in our story conferences."

Fellow writers and cast members are expected to attend Peter's funeral in Lancaster, his home for many years, on Wednesday next week.

A former pupil of Sacred Heart Primary School in Colne, Peter attended St Mary's College in Blackburn before going on to study philosophy at Lancaster University.

He then went into the teaching profession for 10 years while pursuing writing as a hobby. He penned many successful radio dramas and when an appeal went out for story ideas for Coronation Street he sent in one of his scripts which was accepted immediately.

Producers got in touch with Peter and he started writing for the show on a regular basis, eventually giving up his job as a teacher to work full time at Granada Studios.

Peter's brother David, who is the Mayor of Pendle, said: "My wife Barbara and I would watch the show and be able to recognise Peter's writing if something was particularly funny or clever.

"He was very talented and also very lucky to have found what he excelled at in life, something that many people are not fortunate enough to achieve.

"But Peter was also very grateful for the success he had enjoyed and he never took it for granted."

Peter, who leaves his wife Jan, two children and two grandchildren, had also written around 10 novels, all thrillers.