Jean Alexander pictured in 2005

Jean Alexander pictured in 2005

ITV will honour 'Coronation Street' star Jean Alexander with a special Christmas tribute.

The late actress portrayed the iconic Hilda Ogden on the popular soap from 1964 to 1987, and passed away just days before her 90th birthday in October this year after being taken ill and rushed to hospital.

The special feature will be comprised of classic clips from her time as Hilda, as well as heart-warming messages from friends, family, and cast members.

The special will air as part of the festive schedule due to "massive public affection" for the star and her "tremendously popular soap character".

Although the broadcaster agree Jean's legacy deserves a festive season slot, the programme won't take the top spot on Christmas Day (25.12.16), instead airing on December 20.

An ITV source told the Daily Mirror newspaper: "There was even talk of putting the tribute to Jean Alexander out on Christmas Day she was that big a character on screen for ITV, but it is now looking like airing just before on December 20.

"The tribute will be packed full of fun and family humour and the programme is already being filmed and is expected to be a real ratings winner.

"Jean was a much loved actress and the public out pouring of grief following her death reminded many at the top of television how iconic soap characters were in the days before TV had so many channels."

'Coronation Street' did air a special episode in memory of Jean at the time of her passing, but bosses say they wanted to remember her with a commemorative programme instead.

And It isn't the first time Jean has stolen hearts over Christmas either, as she bid originally goodbye to the classic soap on Christmas Day in 1987.