Julie Hesmondhalgh has dedicated her National Television Award to her late father.

The 'Coronation Street' actress, whose character Hayley Cropper took her own life on Monday night (20.01.14) after suffering from inoperable pancreatic cancer, won best Serial Drama Performance at the annual ceremony in London's O2 Arena on Wednesday night (22.01.14) and paid tribute to her dad John Hesmondhalgh, who passed away in January 2013 after a long battle with Parkinson's Disease, as well as her husband Ian Kershaw.

Speaking exclusively to BANG Showbiz backstage, the 43-year-old star said: ''I've dedicated it to my dad who died last year, who was a really, really wonderful man. And I dedicate it to my husband who is living proof that Hayley and Roy's love exists in real life as well.''

The actress admitted leaving the show felt bittersweet but is confident the emotional storyline was the only authentic way for her character to exit the soap.

She said: ''There's certainly always a part of me that's like 'Aww'. I love being here with my friends. But I've always said that it was right to kill Hayley off. She never would have left Roy. There was no other way than her passing.''

She added: ''To leave and then to get this (award) is really special.''

Julie, who accepted the award with her former co-star David Neilson, who plays her on-screen husband Roy Cropper, has kept a number of mementos from the set of the ITV soap but plans to auction off her favourite item for charity.

She said: ''I've got my anorak. I'm auctioning it off for meningitis in memory of a really great friend of mine who died from the effects of meningitis two years ago.''