Bill Roache: I didn’t want to do Coronation Street

The actor – who has been in the show for decades – refused the role initially.

Press Association
Last updated: 8 November 2019 - 2.20pm

Coronation Street veteran Bill Roache did not want to join the soap.

The actor, who plays Weatherfield stalwart Ken Barlow, initially refused the part.

Roache, 87, said he was doing plays at the time Coronation Street was devised and had no intention of giving up the stage for the screen.

Television – ITV Series – Coronation Street – Granada Studios
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher outside the Rovers Return with Bill Roache (PA)

Almost 60 years later, he remains the only member of the original cast on the show.

Speaking on This Morning, the soap star said: “When it was first offered, I didn’t want to do it.

“I’d just got the lead in a play in 1959, it was the play of the week, the highlight of the week, and I had the lead as a young soldier in Germany.

“So that was coming out and then my agent rang and said, ‘Granada want you, I think it’s for a little comedy’.

“I said, ‘I don’t want to do it’. And he said, ‘You might as well do the pilot, you’ve got nothing else to do’.”

In decades of service to the soap, Roache has developed his own ways to relax.

The actor is a firm believer in meditation and said he likes to take a “tea break” from the stress.

He said: “I would call it a tea break from life. And what you need is a place in your home and a chair, and when you go to that chair, and if you can go to the same place every time it helps.

“As you walk towards that chair you leave everything, all of your worries, all of your cares, leave them at the door, you will pick them up later.

“Sit in that chair and have a tea break from life. Doing that for five minutes, that’s a start.”

This Morning airs weekdays from 10.30am.

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