Coronation Street actor Alan Halsall has paid tribute to his “hero” in a touching message on Instagram.
The star shared a snap of himself with late actor Albert Finney and told fans the photo was taken during one of “the most surreal and best days” of his life.
The pic shows a beaming Alan standing alongside the celebrated actor, who passed away on Thursday.
He captioned the post: “They say ‘never meet your heroes’. They’re wrong!
“One of the most surreal and best days of my life was sat in the Ritz hotel London watching the Grand National with a true hero of mine Albert Finney. #Rip #legend.”
Fans responded with heartwarming messages of their own, as one commented: “What a great photo and memory to treasure.”
Another replied: “RIP Daddy Warbux” in reference to Finney’s stern fatherly character in 1982 favourite Annie.
The veteran actor died aged 82 at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London, following a short illness stemming from a chest infection.
One the Britain’s finest ever actors, he enjoyed huge success in Hollywood with roles in films such as Tom Jones, Miller’s Crossing and James Bond movie Skyfall.
They say ‘never meet your heroes’ They’re wrong !!!
He was also nominated for an Oscar five times, although never actually scooped the coveted award.
But it appears the Salford-born actor didn’t let the fame get to his head, as he famously turned down a CBE in 1980 and a knighthood 20 years later.
He made no secret of his disdain for the UK honours system, explaining, according to The Mirror: “I think the ‘Sir’ thing slightly perpetuates one of our diseases in England, which is snobbery.”
Similarly, he never forgot his working-class roots, as he once said: “I thought people from my background didn’t become actors. I thought actors were bred in special places, a stud farm in Mayfair.”
Of his decision to study at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, he said: “There was no sense of going to get away; I was not shaking the provincial dust off my feet, because I didn’t suspect there was any.”
Among Finney’s classmates at the school was Peter O’Toole, who played T. E. Lawrence in the 1962 epic Lawrence of Arabia.
It’s not hard to see why Finney was a hero of Alan’s, as the Corrie star grew up in the Walkden area of Salford – just miles from the legend’s childhood home.
What do you think of Alan’s touching Instagram post? Leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix and let us know.