Coronation Street’s Bill Roache has returned to work following the heartbreaking death of his daughter.
The legendary soap actor, who plays Ken Barlow, was granted compassionate leave after daughter Vanya, 50, tragically passed away earlier this month.
A rep for the soap confirmed to ED! that Bill is now back filming on set and it was his decision to return.
An insider told The Sun: “Bill made it clear he wanted to be back at work, he’s a total professional even after nearly 60 years on the show.
“But everyone was keen to make sure he is well looked after, and give him all the support they can to help with his transition back.
“The executives have told him to take a break whenever, but it was a lovely first day back on set because the storyline was really heart-warming with the new baby on set.”
Bill, 85, has not spoken publicly about his loss.
Coronation Street co-star Kym Marsh, who plays Michelle Connor, sent her condolences to him via her OK! magazine column on Tuesday,
Kym wrote: “All my love goes to Bill Roache, whose daughter Vanya died last week, aged 50. I haven’t seen Bill at work as he’s on compassionate leave, but it must be heartbreaking for him.
“Bill’s lovely and a gentleman and I know he was very close to his children, so I’m sure it’s hit him very hard.
“My heart goes out to him and his family.”
Vanya leaves behind fiancé Toby, who she lived with in Chichester, West Sussex.
Following her death, Toby told The Sun: “We are very private people, all the family are and so we don’t really want to speak about it.
“Vanya was a nice person, a lovely person.”
Her death is the latest blow for ITV soap veteran Bill.
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His second wife Sara Mottram died in 2009, aged 58, and in 1983, the couple lost their baby daughter Edwina to pneumonia when she was just 18 months old.
In an interview, Bill once described the horror of his child dying, saying: “It was such a shock. I’d never known grief to be such a physical pain.”