Coronation Street star Julie Goodyear has received a “heart-breaking diagnosis” of dementia, her husband has shared.

The actor, 81, is best known for playing barmaid of the Rovers Return Bet Lynch for over 25 years.

Goodyear first entered Weatherfield in 1966 and last appeared on the ITV soap in November 2003.

Since leaving the cobbles, Goodyear has appeared on Celebrity Come Dine With Me, Celebrity Big Brother and also had a brief role on Hollyoaks among other TV stints.

The Leader: Julie Goodyear's husband Scott Brand released a statement on Wednesday, (Bob Collier/PA)Julie Goodyear's husband Scott Brand released a statement on Wednesday, (Bob Collier/PA) (Image: Bob Collier/PA)

The actor remains a patron of Willow Wood Hospice in Greater Manchester.

Coronation Street legend seeking medical advice amid Dementia Diagnosis

Her husband Scott Brand released a statement on Wednesday, saying: "My darling wife and I have had to come to terms with this heart-breaking diagnosis.

"Unfortunately, Julie has been suffering forgetfulness for some time and we have been seeking medical advice and assistance, but we now know that there is no hope of a reversal in the situation – and that her condition will get progressively, and perhaps speedily, worse.

"We have taken the decision to publicly announce the diagnosis as Julie still loves visiting friends and eating out.

“Inevitably she is recognised, and fans love to meet her – and she them – but she can get confused particularly if she is tired. I hope people will understand.”