Ken Barlow (William Roache) is to return to Weatherfield next week to the shock news that Peter (Chris Gascoyne) has been charged with murdering Tina. A fuming Ken can’t believe that Deirdre (Anne Kirkbride) has kept the information back from him while he’s been in Canada, but soon focuses his energies on getting Peter out of prison.
With Ken convinced of his son’s innocence, it isn’t long before he’s vowing to find the real killer. Should Rob (Marc Baylis) – the real perpetrator of the crime – be quaking in his boots now that Ken is on the case? Actor William Roache, who’s back on the Street after more than a year off-screen, reveals more…
So how is Ken feeling about his return to the Street?
Ken’s really happy to be back. He’s had a great time in Canada, he’s used the time to do things he loves doing – he has started writing poetry and become a vegetarian, which he immediately gets stick from Tracy and Deirdre about upon his return. But he wouldn’t want it any other way.
Does he have any idea that something is wrong?
Not at all. Deirdre is a bit evasive, but there’s no way he would have any idea about what she has been hiding from him. He knows that Peter and Carla have split up, but that’s as much as he knows at first.
So when does he discover that Peter is in prison?
He’s been trying to go out but Deirdre has so far foiled him every step of the way as she builds up the courage to tell him about Peter’s arrest. But when Deirdre goes out of the back of the house to get Eccles, he decides to head to the shop where he bumps into Carla. She tells him the truth because he starts asking her if there is any hope for their marriage!
Does Ken blame Peter for what’s happened?
As soon as he asks Peter outright and Peter tells him he didn’t kill Tina, Ken believes him. He looks him in the eye and totally believes what he says. It isn’t just the blind faith of a father’s love – he genuinely knows Peter is not the murderer.
How does Deirdre’s decision not to tell Ken affect their marriage?
Ken is furious, but they have been round the block a few times and he does forgive her. What he finds harder to deal with is that he’s the only one who seems to believe Peter. He soon realises that everyone else, Deirdre included, thinks that there’s a chance that Peter did it.
What happens when Ken visits Peter in prison?
What shocks Ken is that even Peter seems prepared to throw in the towel – for a time Ken is the only person who wants to put up a fight. Ken realises that Peter does blame himself – even though he didn’t actually kill Tina, he can see that he feels responsible, which is one of the reasons that Ken genuinely does believe he didn’t kill her.
How does Ken plan to help him?
Ken has always been a man who loves a cause and a mission – now that it’s his own son, he will stop at nothing to try and prove his innocence.
Does Ken suspect that Rob has something to do with all this?
Nobody suspects Rob and Ken has no reason to think he’s the killer. That’s why Rob is able to get away with it for so long. What motive would he have? He has also played a very clever game in sticking to his guns about Peter being the killer.
How does he feel about Rob being under his roof and engaged to Tracy?
There’s something about Rob that Ken doesn’t like. He’s had time to win Deirdre round, but Ken isn’t sure about him. That doesn’t mean to say he thinks he has anything to do with the murder. The fact that Rob is so certain Peter has done it is enough to wind Ken up.
So what’s Rob’s reaction when Ken hires a new solicitor and vows to find the killer?
Ken is fast becoming the thorn in Rob’s side. If Ken hadn’t returned and started this crusade to prove Peter’s innocence, Rob would have had no worries about the truth ever being found out. Now, he is constantly panicking that Ken is going to unearth something that incriminates him.
Is it gratifying that the writers are still coming up with new storylines for Ken after 53 years?
Yes, I’m thrilled to be at the heart of a story which has been so huge for the show. Ken is linked, in some way, to all the main players, which is what the Street does so well. He’s always loved a challenge and it’s great to show that side of Ken. But I’m equally pleased with the great comedy story running alongside it where Ken and Deirdre go on a caravan trip to North Wales, it was great fun to film. This is what the show does best – great drama alongside laugh-out-loud comedy