Emotional tributes have been paid to soap legend Johnny Briggs after his death was announced.

The 85-year-old Coronation Street great was surrounded by family when he died after a long illness.

The actor, who played factory boss Mike Baldwin on the cobbles, starred in 2,349 episodes of the popular ITV soap and was a major character for more than 30 years.

Many of his former co-stars have spoken about the loss of the star.

Helen Worth, who plays long-serving Gail Platt, said: “I am very sorry to hear the sad news.

“I have many happy memories of working together with Johnny. He was one of the street’s most memorable characters."

The soap legend family's confirmed the tragic news on Sunday morning

Antony Cotton, knicker-stitcher Sean Tully in Weatherfield, tweeted: "Johnny Briggs was a complex character, on and off screen, and we all adored him.

"Feel lucky that I got the chance to work with him in the factory. I am, and will always be, a Baldwin's Casual.

"Night night Mr Baldwin, I've left you a bottle of Scotch in the filing cabinet..."

His co-stars have paid tribute to the Street great

Bruce Jones, meanwhile, said: "We have lost a TV legend".

Les Battersby actor Bruce told The Sun : "I'm so sorry to hear my good friend Johnny Briggs has passed away today. All my thoughts go out to his family.

“I will always remember the good times we had working together, and the times we spent together in our free time away from the show. A brilliant actor and a wonderful friend. God bless you Johnny."

Kevin Kennedy, who played Curly Watts on the ITV show, told the publication: “Johnny Briggs was a nice guy and absolutely fascinating when he told stories of his extensive film career – sleep well buddy.”

Long-serving Helen Worth says he played one of the show’s most memorable characters

Corrie actress Samia Longchambon, who plays Maria Connor, tweeted “#RestInPeace Johnny Briggs. Really sorry to hear the sad news.

“I have fond memories of working with Johnny, he was such a lovely man.”

Johnny helped pull in 21 million viewers in the 1980s when womanising factory owner Mike had an affair with Deirdre Barlow, played by the late Anne Kirkbride.

He famously clashed with Bill Roache's character Ken Barlow over the affair.

Mike Baldwin, Deirdre Barlow and Ken Barlow's love triangle is a legendary soap storyline

The love triangle between the three gripped viewers and was a long-running ratings winner as it carried on for years.

In a statement on Sunday his family said: “It is with great sadness that we announce the death of our father, Johnny Briggs.

“He passed away peacefully this morning after a long illness, with family by his side. He was 85.

“We politely ask for privacy at this time, so that we can quietly grieve as a family and remember the wonderful times we had with him. Thank you.”