Bill Roache Coronation Street

William Roache’s continued role in Coronation Street despite filming hiatus

Corrie fans have been been asking after Ken Barlow

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William Roache is best known for playing Ken Barlow in 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.

But many fans have been wondering is William Roache still in Coronation Street as the actor hasn’t been on screen for some time.

Here’s everything you need to know…

Is William Roache still in Coronation Stree
William Roache plays Ken Barlow in Coronation Street (Credit: ITV)

Is William Roache still in Coronation Street?

William Roach is still in Coronation Street but it may be some time before you see him on screen.

As many fans are aware, ITV was forced to halt filming back in March because of coronavirus.

The channel resumed production in June, however some cast members have not been able to return to work just yet due to their age or underlying health conditions.

With William having celebrated his 88th birthday in April, it hasn’t been deemed safe enough for him to come back into the studios just yet.

Series producer Iain MacLeod said: “Plans are afoot in that regard and I am very aware that there’s a lot of extremely talented people that due to current guidelines can’t be in the building.”

William Roache Coronation Street (Credit: ITV)
Fans have been missing William Roache (Credit: ITV)

Corrie has explained Ken Barlow’s absence by stating on screen that he is shielding.

However, producer Iain is planning to feature William on screen via video calls instead.

“We are very keen to make sure we keep as many of our wonderful cast and brilliant characters on screen as we can, really,” he added.

“In some cases they physically can’t be in the building but I still think I really want to make sure that we keep sight of them and I know the audience will thank us for keeping sight of them.”

Other older cast members such as Barbara Knox (Rita Tanner) and Maureen Lipman (Evelyn Plummer) will also be staying away from the studio for the time being.

William Roache Coronation Street (Credit: ITV)
The Ken Barlow actor is a father of five (Credit: ITV)

How much does William Roache earn on Corrie?

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.

Back in 2018, the Mirror reported that Jack had been awarded a bumper new contract worth £250,000.

That’s £30,000 more than his previous deal.

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

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.”

When did William Roache join Coronation Street?

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

He has been with the cast of Coronation Street for 59 years.

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

Ken Barlow Coronation Street (Credit: ITV)
William has played Ken since 1960 (Credit: ITV)

Does 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?

During an interview with Piers Morgan on Life Stories in 2012, William was quizzed over his womanising and he confessed to sleeping with over 100 women.

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)

What else has William Roache been in?

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.

Why was William Roache arrested?

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 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.

Coronation Street legend Bill Roache is found Not Guilty on all charges at his trial for historic sexual assaults and rape at Preston Crown Court. Pictured: Bill Roache Ref: SPL692358 060214 NON-EXCLUSIVE Picture by: Splash News and Pictures Los Angeles: 310-821-2666 New York: 212-619-2666 London: +44 (0)20 7644 7656 Berlin: +49 175 3764 166 World Rights
The Ken Barlow was found not guilty on all charges (Credit: Splash News)

Read More: Coronation Street: Funniest scenes ever including Gail and Eileen’s street brawl 

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.

William Roache Coronation Street (Credit: ITV)
The Corrie star was a Captain in the army (Credit: ITV)

Read More: Coronation Street star Sue Devaney explains Debbie Webster’s return 

What rank was William Roache in the army?

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

He went on to be promoted to Lieutenant.

But the actor left the Army in 1956 with the rank of Captain.

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.

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

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Charlotte Rodrigues
Soap Contributor
Charlotte Rodrigues joined Entertainment Daily in April 2018, as Audience Engagement Executive. A huge soap fan, Charlotte then became Senior Soap Writer, delivering the latest storylines and spoilers to our followers.