Bill Roache speaks out about Ken Barlow’s shock stroke on Coronation Street
Coronation Street fans were left shocked last night after long-time cobbles resident Ken Barlow suffered a surprise stroke.
The storyline was not released ahead of time by ITV, which saw Ken keel over from a stroke after having a blazing row with son Peter Barlow. Ken had been planning to go on holiday, but the unexpected arrival of his son after a year’s absence provoked some nasty exchanges. Convinced Peter was up to his old ways, Ken interrogated him over what he was doing home – to drastic consequences.
Actor Bill Roache, who has played the role of Ken for an astonishing 56 years, said he was “thrilled to bits” with the new storyline.
He said: “I think [new show boss] Kate Oates is absolutely wonderful, and when she told me about this I was absolutely thrilled to bits.”
However, he admitted when he first heard the news of Ken’s stroke he was worried it would spell his departure from the show.
Roache said: “When I found out about the storyline, I didn’t feel paranoid about my health, but I did feel paranoid about my job. The first thing I asked was ‘do I get better?’.”
Viewers will have to stay tuned to see whether Ken makes a full recovery or not.”
The new storyline is set to bring the Barlows to the forefront of the show again, as Ken’s grandson Adam Barlow and son Daniel Osbourne return to Weatherfield to visit him in hospital.
Roache explained: “The Barlows have always been female led with Blanche and Deirdre and Tracy, and suddenly it’s four males.
“They have a scene round the bed in the hospital and I actually felt this sense of family. It’s actually very exciting, and I hope we’ll be like a mafia family – we in-fight like crazy, and if anybody else attacks us, bang, we’ll go out and get them!
“But I’m loving it to bits, having been in the show for 56 years, and being 84 years old I’m very fortunate to have a very vital and vibrant story.
“It’s not a one-off, it’s an organic process, hand grenades going off all the time, and can go on for years.”