THE man who gave TV's Corrie cat its first paw-step to stardom today began the search for a new star but insisted: "There will never be another Frisky!"

Frisky -- who made thousands of TV appearances as the cat in the Coronation Street title sequence -- died on Tuesday and his ashes have been offered to Coronation Street producer Jane McNaught in case she wants to place them behind the bar at the Rovers Return.

Now Kevin Horkin (inset) has begun the search for another star to continue in his long line of animal success stories.

Kevin, who runs an agency for pets, has provided other illustrious creatures as Jack Duckworth's pigeons and the dog that walked along the street on the show's credits between 1994 and 1998.

"I knew Frisky was ill but I did not know he had died," said Kevin, who runs Spex Opticians, in Church Street, Accrington. "That is sad news. His owner -- who lives in Leeds -- I know will be devastated."

His association with Frisky dates back to before he put his first paw on the road to stardom.

Kevin said: "When Granada TV decided to change the credits in 1990 I helped run a competition on This Morning with Richard Madeley and Judy Finnegan to find a cat.

"We received a total of 6,000 entries and eventually narrowed it down to just 10. A televised final was held and Frisky was selected because of his natural look."

Frisky made his debut soon after -- replacing a ginger tom, which was actually a stray that appeared while the cameras were rolling, and has stayed on ever since.

When he started appearing on the credits, offers of personal appearances came flooding in and Kevin was enlisted to help with the requests. He said: "A lot of cat clubs wanted Frisky to make an appearance but also many playgroups and old peoples' homes wanted him there, so it was a very busy time.

"When requests came in to me, I passed them on to his owner, John Rimington, who then dealt with them.

"It made various charities thousands of pounds and it was very busy for the first two years before the requests died off."

No plans are in place to create new titles with a cat other than Frisky but Kevin hopes he will play a part in finding the next Coronation Street cat.

He said: "The last cat was used for 20 years and no-one particularly bothered so hopefully Frisky will be used for a long time to come.

"It is good that Frisky will be used in the Street's 40th anniversary show in a few weeks' time and hopefully he will be on for many years to come," he added.

A spokesman for Granada TV said: "Frisky was as much a part of Coronation Street as the cobbles and the Rovers Return.

"It is sad that he has passed away but at least he will be remembered by everyone four times a week in the titles."

He said that while Frisky will be missed by the actors on the show, there are no special plans to mark the cat's passing away in the credits.

Other illustrious animals from Kevin's management stable are Theresa the Turkey, who caused Les Battersby so much aggravation when he plotted to serve her up last Christmas Day -- only to be freed by Spider and Toyah, and Snowy the donkey, who appears on This Morning's nativity play every year. FAME: Kevin Horkin. who introduced Frisky to TV audiences all over the world STAR QUALITY: Theresa the Turkey was a Corrie favourite