'Coronation Street' stalwart William Roache has no plans to retire as Ken Barlow after turning 90

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William Roache has played Ken Barlow in 'Corrie' since the soap began in 1960. (ITV)
William Roache has no plans to retire from playing Corrie's Ken Barlow. (ITV)

Coronation Street star William Roache has revealed he has no intention of retiring as he prepares to celebrate his 90th birthday.

The veteran actor – who has played Ken Barlow in the ITV soap opera since 1960 – marked his ninth decade with a special ITV documentary Happy Birthday Bill in which he showed off his fitness levels and looked back on his career.

Roache said: "People will say when are you retiring? Are you going to take a break? But then what happens?

Read more: William Roache didn't want to do Corrie

"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 organisation that is happy to have me."

William Roache celebrates his 90th birthday this year. (PA)
William Roache celebrates his 90th birthday this year. (PA)

The 89-year-old actor will turn 90 on 25th April 2022 and has starred in Corrie since its very first episode in 1960.

His character Ken had to be temporarily written out of the soap in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, but he returned after a few months off screen to socially distanced filming in order to protect him from catching the virus.

The actor also took a break from the soap in 2018 after the sudden death of his daughter Vanya, 50.

Roache also confessed in the new documentary that he has a crush on the Queen.

He said: "I’ve met the Queen eight times.

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, meets actor Bill Roache who plays Ken Barlow in Coronation Street, during her visit to Preston, Lancashire.
Bill Roache has met the Queen eight times. (PA)

"I first met her when I was 21 and I was in the army and we had the day with her which was very nice.

“I really fancied her! I don’t know if that’s heresy but she was very attractive.”

Before becoming an actor he joined the Royal Welch Fusiliers in 1953 and was stationed in Jamaica, where he first encountered Her Majesty.

Looking back at old pictures he said: “This is the party with the Queen! I remember being there because she was fascinated by the regimental goat.

William Roache (Coronation Street's Ken Barlow) with his wife Sarah and their daughter Verity at their home. 17th July 1983. (Photo by Harold Holborn/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)
William Roache has starred in Coronation Street since 1960. (Getty Images)

"The goat ate cigarettes, two cigarettes a day, and she was feeding him.”

Roache attends a weekly exercise class on set at Media City in Manchester where Corrie is filmed.

Read more: Coronation Street's William Roache reveals secret to staying fit into his 90s

He said: "It's such a lovely group of people of all ages from five to me at 90. It's not like going to the gym and doing a heavy serious workout. It's called funfit for a reason."

Watch: Corrie's William Roache was heartbroken at the sudden death of his daughter in 2018

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