GLOWING tribute has been paid to South Craven actor Peter Armitage, who has died aged 78.

He was best known as Bill Webster in the long-running ITV soap Coronation Street.

Mr Armitage first appeared in the programme, as Kevin Webster's dad, more than 30 years ago and had several spells in the series.

He was also a massive motorbike enthusiast, and a regular visitor to Colin Appleyard Motorcycles in Keighley.

He'd called at the Wellington Road showroom just days before staff learned of his death.

"He was his usual lively self and seemed well – he was talking about going out to Australia to visit his kids," said Paul Wheater, general manager at the showroom.

"I got a phone call from his son yesterday (Tuesday) to tell me he had died. I couldn't believe it.

"We were all deeply shocked at the news and our heartfelt thoughts are with the family."

Farther-of-two Mr Armitage, who grew-up in Farnhill – attending Kildwick Primary School – and later lived in Cononley, was a regular visitor to Appleyard's.

And he supported a number of charity events at the showroom.

"Peter took part in some of our 'An Evening With...' events and other activities – he was always keen to give his support," said Mr Wheater.

"He often called round – maybe once a month – for a coffee and to talk bikes.

"He was a great character and a popular pillar of the biking community.

"Whenever he was here he'd always make time to chat to customers.

"Peter was so friendly, but he didn't mince his words!

"He was a great friend to many people and the company, and will be sorely missed."

Mr Armitage's death was announced publicly on Twitter by former Corrie co-star Charlie Lawson, who plays Jim McDonald.

"It's with great sadness, that I've to tell you my great old friend Pete Armitage has died. RIP mate," he wrote.

His thoughts were echoed by other cast members, including Simon Gregson (Steve McDonald) and Jane Danson (Leanne Battersby).

No cause of death has been given, but the actor revealed four years ago that he was in remission from cancer.

Mr Armitage first featured in Coronation Street in 1984.

He also had roles in the 1988 TV series Jack the Ripper and the 1995 series Hearts and Minds.

And the actor also appeared in a 1980s Yellow Pages commercial, as a father buying a bicycle for his son.