Sue Johnston says being awarded the Freedom of the City of Liverpool has taken her "breath away".

Sue Johnston was honoured at a special ceremony in Liverpool

Sue Johnston was honoured at a special ceremony in Liverpool

The 'Royle Family’ star - who is best known for playing Barbara Royle in the iconic BBC sitcom, and Sheila Grant in defunct Merseyside soap ‘Brookside’ - was honoured in a ceremony at the city’s council chamber, where she was celebrated by Liverpool legends including Beatles singer Sir Paul McCartney and former Liverpool FC manager Jurgen Klopp.

The 80-year-old actress - who was born in Warrington, but lives in Liverpool and is a fan of the Reds - said: “This honour is so deep, we who live in this city love it.”

Musician Paul - who received the same treatment four decades ago for his work with The Beatles, and his wider impact on the music industry - appeared via video to make a joke about how the city allowed its recipients to shepherd their flocks through the Albert Docks.

The 82-year-old rock legend said: "If you need a couple of sheep to borrow, I’m your man,” before adding an “alright, la”.

Jurgen - who said goodbye to Anfield and the Reds at the end of the Premier League season in May, and received the same recognition in 2022 - admitted he was “really proud” to be connected to Sue.

In a pre-recorded message, he said: “I know you really deserve it. Don’t forget, you’ll never walk alone.”

City officials including Lord Mayor Richard Kemp gave a speech about how Liverpool had embraced Sue “into our hearts, big style”, and praised her “outstanding contribution to the TV and film industry”, and Liverpool Council leader Liam Robinson gushed about Sue being not only being a "legend" in Liverpool, but also a “national treasure”.