WILLIAM Roache with Guinness World of Records certificate
Soaps

Coronation Street and cast member William Roache receive new Guinness World Records

Bill plays Ken Barlow and is the longest serving TV soap star in the world!

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Coronation Street and its longest serving cast member William Roache – aka Ken Barlow – have both proudly received new Guinness World Records.

The ITV soap celebrates its 60th anniversary on Wednesday December 9 2020, and has been awarded with an updated certificate from Guinness World Records confirming it remains the longest running TV soap opera in the world.

It’s an amazing achievement to have survived so long on TV – it was only supposed to be on for 13 weeks!

William Roache stars opposite Joanna Lumley in Coronation Street
William Roache’s Ken Barlow has starred opposite some huge names, including Joanna Lumley (Credit: ITV)

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Meanwhile, cast member William Roache MBE was also presented with his own unique record for being the longest serving TV soap star in the world.

So how long has he been in Corrie? Here’s everything you need to know about William Roache!

Why has William Roache won a Guinness World Record?

William Roache appeared as Ken Barlow in the first ever episode of Coronation Street.

This makes him the longest serving TV soap star in the world.

Presented with his certificate during a filming break, William Roache said: “I would like to thank Guinness World Records for this new award.

“I have been very fortunate to have been in this wonderful programme, which has carried me into this world record and a lifetime of wonderful memories.”

Ken Barlow was in episode one of the ITV soap, had a starring role in episode 10,000 earlier this year, and will be at the centre of on-screen events for the 60th anniversary episode on Wednesday December 9 2020.

William Roache as Ken Barlow in Coronation Street
William Roache as Ken Barlow in Coronation Street (Credit: ITV)

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How old is Coronation Street’s William Roache?

William is the oldest member of the Coronation Street cast.

He is currently 88, and will turn 89 on Sunday April 25 2021.

Bill was born in 1932 in Basford, Nottingham.

How long has William Roache played Ken Barlow?

William Roache first appeared as Ken Barlow on November 9 1960.

Ken was one of the 22 original Coronation Street characters devised by series creator Tony Warren.

He continues to play the character of Ken even now in 2020.

What else has William Roache starred in?

William admits he was reluctant to take the role of Ken as his acting career was going well.

He began acting in 1958, appearing in Behind the Mask, and BBC Sunday Night Theatre.

Bill played small parts in Knight Errant Limited and The Bulldog Breed before winning the role of Ken Barlow.

Since then, he has only ever portrayed Ken.

William Roache stars opposite Joanna Lumley in Coronation Street
Violet Carson as Ena Sharples and William Roache as Ken Barlow in Coronation Street (Credit: ITV)

What was Ken Barlow’s first ever scene in Coronation Street?

Ken lived at Number 3 Coronation Street.

We see 21-year-old student Ken eating dinner with his parents, Frank and Ida.

Frank accuses Ken of being snobby and embarrassed by his working class family, but Ken defends himself.

Ken tells them he’s taking his girlfriend Susan Cunningham to the Imperial Hotel, which Frank angrily forbids, as Ida works there as a cleaner.

We later see Ken head to The Rovers Return Inn, where he orders cigarettes and is mocked by Dennis for being at university.

Is Ken Barlow’s real son in Coronation Street?

James Roache, the real-life son of Street star Bill, portrayed his own dad’s character in The Road to Coronation Street in 2010.

He went on to play James Cunningham in Corrie between 2010 and 2011.

Meanwhile, Bill’s eldest son Linus Roache played Peter Barlow between 1973 and 1975, and later Lawrence Cunningham in 2010.

Is William Roache leaving Coronation Street?

Earlier this year, in March, Ken Barlow left the show’s titular place of residence to move into a retirement home Stillwaters with his girlfriend Claudia.

However, just a month later, Ken returned to the cobbles and split up with Claudia.

He’s currently living with Tracy and Steve.

There are no further plans for Ken to leave the Street, with actor William Roache is no rush to retire.

William recently returned to filming after an enforced hiatus due to Covid-19.

William Roache as Ken Barlow in Corrie
Deirdre Barlow, Blanch Hunt, Tracy Barlow and Ken Barlow (Credit: ITV)

Did Denise have a baby with Ken Barlow?

In 1994, Denise Osborne started a relationship with Ken Barlow.

Soon afterwards she became pregnant and gave birth to her son Daniel Osbourne in January 1995.

Ken gave her support, but she left his name off the birth certificate.

Daniel arrived on Coronation Street for good in 2016, played by Rob Mallard.

How much does William Roache earn on Coronation Street?

William is one of Coronation Street’s highest paid actors.

According to the Metro, he was on a staggering £200,000 a year in 2017.

Of course, this isn’t his only form of income as soap stars often take on collaboration and sponsorship deals too.

Celebrity Net Worth reports that William’s net worth is approximately £3.8 million.

Corrie’s highest earner is Jack P Shepherd, who plays the long suffering David Platt.

Recently Bill revealed how much he earnt on the soap when he first joined.

On Good Morning Britain (August 19 2020), Bill was asked if it was correct that he earnt £10 for his first episode.

However he replied saying: “No, I don’t think it was £10, I think it was £70.”

Ken Barlow Coronation Street
The Coronation Street actor has a staggering net worth (Credit: ITV)

Does Ken Barlow actor William Roache have children?

The actor and his first wife Anna Cropper share son, Linus, born in 1964, and daughter, Vanya, born in 1967.

With his second wife Sara McEwan Mottram he had daughter Verity (1981), son James (1985) and another daughter named Edwina (1983).

Sadly, William has lost two of his children – Edwina died of pneumonia at 18 months old on November 16, 1984 and his daughter Vanya died of liver failure on March 2, 2018 at the age of 50.

William’s two sons have both appeared in Coronation Street in 2010.

Linus has appeared twice, in fact, firstly playing Ken’s on-screen son Peter Barlow between 1973 and 1975, and then returning for four episodes in 2010 as Ken’s long-lost son, Lawrence Cunningham.

His half-brother, James, played Lawrence’s son, James Cunningham.

James was on screen from September 2010 to July 2011.

William with his son Linus Roache (Credit: ITV)

Did William Roache cheat on his wife?

William confessed to sleeping with over 100 women during an interview with Piers Morgan on Life Stories in 2012.

When Piers pressed whether the real figure was over 1000, William replied: “Well, I’m not denying it.”

He added: “Looking back, I didn’t know any better. But what I did find out is it does not bring you happiness and it is not the way to be.”

The actor was unfaithful to his first wife, Anna, and they divorced in 1974 after she discovered his infidelity.

“I regret it deeply – I had the opportunity, but that doesn’t mean I should do it.”

He continued: “I had rehearsals up in Manchester from Monday to Friday. The opportunity was there.

“There were plenty of girls around and I shouldn’t have done it.”

William added: “I didn’t have any control over my own sex drive. I didn’t have the strength to control it.”

He also confessed to a one-night stand with former co-star Pat Phoenix, who played Corrie legend Elsie Tanner.

William Roache Coronation Street (Credit: ITV)
William celebrated his 88th birthday in lockdown (Credit: ITV)

Why was William Roache arrested?

William was arrested in 2013 on suspicion of raping a 15-year-old in 1967.

He was charged with two counts of rape. On June 6 that year, he was charged with five counts of indecent assault against girls between the ages of 12 and 16.

He pleaded not guilty to the charges, and in February 2014 was found not guilty on all charges.

What religion is William Roache?

After splitting with his girlfriend Emma Jesson in late 2012 the actor decided to give up sex and join the Pure Love Movement.

Pure Love Movement is a spiritual group.

He believes in the spiritual realm and reincarnation.

He was previously a druid.

A druid is a priest, magician or soothsayer in the ancient Celtic religion.

Does William Roache have an MBE?

William was awarded The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire back in the 2001 New Years Honours.

He’s also got an Honorary degree of Doctors Letters from the University of Chester.

Coronation Street airs on Mondays and Wednesdays 7.30pm and 8.30pm with an hour long episode at 7.30 on Fridays on ITV

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