Coronation Street's Charlie Lawson slams ITV's 'half-a***d' tribute to late co-star Johnny Briggs

CORONATION Street's Charlie Lawson has slammed ITV's tribute to late co-star Johnny Briggs – calling it "half-a***d" and "disappointing".

Briggs – who died aged 85 last month – played cockney wheeler dealer lothario Mike Baldwin for 30 years on the hit soap.

He joined in 1976 and went on to appear in 2,349 episodes before he left in 2006 – collapsing in love rival Ken Barlow's arms.

Coronation Street paid tribute to the iconic character on ITV last night in a half hour one-off special, interviewing Briggs' co-stars.

The soap's Twitter shared a clip ahead of the episode and said: "Join us after the break for a special tribute to Johnny Briggs and his enduring legacy as Coronation Street legend, Mike Baldwin."

But Lawson – who played Jim McDonald – said he'd tuned in and branded the tribute extremely bad, saying it had failed to recognise his friend's life work.

Upset Mike wrote in a scathing tweet: "Half a bloody hour and no mention of his movie career, apart from some half a***d crap about Carry On movies. Very disappointing."

However the clip prompted an outpouring of tributes to Briggs, as people remembered the cheeky character and his charm on screen.

One fan said: "I still use one of his quotes today: 'nobody ever kicked a dog that came towards you wagging it’s tail'. #corrie #johnnybriggslegend"

Another wrote: "What a man, a womaniser a legend, a real character who I will always miss.

"Old Trafford united match – Ken 1 Mike – 0 what a hero we've lost my god. #johnnybriggslegend#corrie"

Another said: "Lovely tribute to the legend that Johnny Briggs. Would have loved it to have been an hour though. There was so much that could have been shown".

Briggs spent years acting in projects such as The Lavender Hill Mob, 633 Squadron and Crossroads, before becoming a Weatherfield favourite.

His biggest storylines included his affair with Deirdre Barlow and bitter rivalry with her husband Ken, a love triangle that had the whole nation gripped.

He was born in Battersea, south-west London, and was evacuated to Surrey and Cheshire during the second world war.

When he returned to London he was awarded a scholarship to the Italia Conti Stage Academy aged 12.

His first credited screen role came as character Skinny Johnson, one of the gang of juvenile delinquents in the film Cosh Boy (1952), starring Joan Collins.

More parts soon followed in Second Fiddle (1957), Sink the Bismarck! (1960), Light Up the Sky! (1960), The Bulldog Breed (1960), HMS Defiant (1962, as a young sailor stripped to the waist and flogged), Doctor in Distress (1963).

He starred in three Carry On films – as one of the kilted Third Foot and Mouth Regiment in Up the Khyber (1968), a plasterer in Behind (1975) and a major’s put-upon driver in England (1976).

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