Coronation Street star William Roache has issued an update on his show future.
The Ken Barlow actor is a soap legend and appeared on the very first episode of the ITV show in 1960. William has been a mainstay on the Cobbles ever since and holds the Guinness World Record for the longest serving television star in a continuous role.
The Corrie legend still makes occasional appearances on the Cobbles, but his role is not as prominent as it used to be. William is set to celebrate his 90th birthday on April 25, but the actor revealed he has “no intention of retiring” just yet.
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He said: “People will say when you are retiring? Are you going to take a break? But then what happens? Whilst I can do it, and whilst they will have me, I have no intention of retiring. I am so fortunate to work for an organization that is happy to have me. “
ITV has commissioned a documentary to celebrate the soap legend’s storied career. Happy Birthday Bill will air tomorrow at 8pm and reunites him with actress Anne Reid, who played Ken’s first wife Valerie.
He said: “She played my wife in Coronation Street for eight years and I was very sad when she chose to leave. When Valerie died she was due to meet Ken at the Rovers so when she walked through the doors finally 52 years later it was a lovely moment, we both just started laughing.
“It was beautiful to see her again, to me she looks no different.”
Asked about the secret to his success and still working at 90, he said: “I suppose I always feel like I’m learning. You know, people ask me if the younger ones ask me for advice and I say no, they’re all so good and confident that I feel I should ask them.
“I always feel I’m still growing up. I never feel grown up in life anyway. And then I’ve always got things to learn. Working with people like Chris Gascoyne and so many other members of the cast is so good. It’s such a privilege. ”
Happy Birthday Bill airs on ITV and ITV Hub on April 19 at 8pm
Coronation Street airs Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 8pm on ITV and ITV Hub
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