Coronation Street legend Bill Roache, 88, forced to take break from soap amid covid battle

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Coronation Street legend Bill Roache, 88, took time off from the ITV soap to battle covid-19.

Bill, who plays Ken Barlow on Corrie, was forced to take a break from the cobbles after he contracted coronavirus.

He has recovered well from the virus and is expected to make a full return.

A spokesperson for Coronation Street said: "Following recent reports about his health, William Roache has asked us to clarify that he took time off work after testing positive for Covid.

"He has recovered well and is looking forward to returning to the cobbles as soon as possible."

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A source told The Mirror that storylines involving Ken were “currently being written” and that they were also “currently limiting the time we are filming with the more elderly cast during the pandemic.”

The source added: “He is doing really well and is looking forward to returning. Bill is such a well loved member of the team and everyone is delighted he has recovered so well.

"We can't wait to have him back."

Bill has played Ken Barlow since the soap’s very first episode back in 1960, making him not only the series’ only original remaining actor, but a Guinness World Records holder as the longest-serving TV soap star.

The soap legend previously said he wants to say on the soap for as long as possible, as he told OK! in an in-depth interview : "While I can do it and they want me, I will be there.

"Retirement is not on the radar at all. I have no plans for that.

"I don't even like to think about how they'd write Ken out if I did leave. Because hopefully that is never going to happen."

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Bill also revealed that he is very fond of his character and doesn’t get frustrated playing the same person for so many years.

He said: “It’s not like being in a play and playing the same part every night. It’s the same character, but they change over the years, just as you do in your own life. I am very fond of Ken, I regard myself as his caretaker, but he is a different type of being to me.

"I am very sporty and I play golf, which Ken doesn’t do, but I like him and that’s all that is needed.”

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