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Saturday 16th February 2019

10 facts about Coronation Street's William Roache

William Roache is best known for playing Ken Barlow on Coronation Street.

Ken is a well-loved character and has had many dramatic storylines including feuds, affairs and the death of his wife Deirdre Barlow.

Here are 10 facts about the actor...

1. He is the longest serving Coronation Street character

William has played Ken since 1960 (Credit: ITV)

William joined the soap in 1960 appearing in the very first episode of Coronation Street.

He is in the Guinness World Records as the longest-serving soap actor in the world.

2. He has five children

William and his first wife Anne Cropper share son Linus Roache, born 1964, and daughter Vanya Roach, born 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 at 18 months old on 16th November 1984 and his daughter Vanya died on the second of March 2018 at the age of 50.

3. Two of his children have appeared in Corrie

William and his son Linus (Credit: ITV)

William's two sons appeared in Coronation Street in 2010.

Linus Roache played Ken's long-lost son, Lawrence Cunningham, and James Roache played Lawrence's son, James Cunningham.

Linus only made a few appearances and James was on screen from September 2010 to July 2011.

4. He is a vegetarian

William has stated before that he is a vegetarian as he "doesn't want animals being killed for him".

5. He was in the British army

He joined the British army and was commissioned into the Royal Welsh Fusiliers in 1953.

He went on to be promoted to Lieutenant.

He left the Army in 1956 with the rank of Captain.

6. He suffers with Tinnitus

William suffers with Tinnitus (Credit: ITV)

William suffers with Tinnitus due to an exploding mortar during his military service.

Tinnitus is where you can hear a sound when no external sound is present, such as ringing, ticking or hissing.

The incident happened when he was 21 and he lost 50 percent of his hearing in both ears.

7. He was cleared of indecent assault charges

William was arrested in 2013 on suspicion of raping a 15-year-old in 1967. The CPS announced he was being charged with two counts of rape. On June 6th 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.

8. He was awarded an MBE

William Roache MBE (Credit: ITV)

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

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

9. He appeared in The Bulldog Breed

William made an appearance in the 1960 British comedy film The Bulldog Breed.

He played an unnamed space centre operator.

Johnny Briggs, who played Mike Baldwin on Coronation Street, also appeared in the film as Johnny Nolan.

10. He is a part of the Pure Love Movement

Pure love movement is a spiritual group. After splitting with his girlfriend Emma Jesson in late 2012 the actor decided to give up sex and join the Pure Love Movement.

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.

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