Coronation Street veteran William Roache has addressed his character Ken Barlow's doubts over his relationship with Wendy Papadopoulos.


Weatherfield's womaniser has rekindled his romance with Wendy (Roberta Kerr) but things got complicated following his former flame Martha Fraser's (Stephanie Beacham) return.

Ken and Martha go way back, as they first had an affair when he was still married to Deirdre (Anne Kirkbride). Will he cave to his feelings for her this time?

"Wendy has come back into his life and they've realised they still have the same feelings for each other and now Martha coming back on the scene has complicated the issue," Roache said.

"He doesn't know how she's going to feel about him after the way he left her, he's embarrassed about that and he doesn't know if either of them are going to have the same feelings.

"Whereas with Wendy he does know, as they've already said it to each other, so he is concerned about Martha now arriving at this time."

The actor explained that Ken is fond of both women, who represent two very different lifestyles.

William Roache as Ken Barlow and Stephanie Beacham as Martha Fraser in Coronation Street.
Will Martha's return upend Ken's romance with Wendy? ITV

"Yes, he's physically attracted to them both obviously, and he did love them both, but they offer two very different lifestyles," he explained.

"Wendy is giving him his current lifestyle, slippers and cocoa, supper in front of the television and all that. Whereas Martha is offering him the life that he always dreamed about, the life of being with intellectuals and writers in London, the theatre and all those things that he himself wanted.

"So that's where the dichotomy for Ken is – he's torn between two women. I think he does want his home comforts at this stage in his life and everything that Wendy offers, that’s where his heart is now. However, although his heart may be there, his dreams are definitely with Martha."

Stephanie Beacham plays Martha Fraser in Coronation Street
Stephanie Beacham plays Martha Fraser in Coronation Street. ITV

After Martha asks Ken to go to Hull with her, he has a big decision to make – much like he did when Martha urged him to follow her to London on a whim when he was still with Deirdre.

"He really loves Martha, there's no doubt about that, and he really dreams of that lifestyle. But then he really loves Wendy and she would continue this comfortable life with him," Roache said.

"So the decision that the writers have presented him with is the same but without Deirdre in the background. He does dream about this lifestyle with Martha, it's as strong as it ever was, so it's very interesting to play."

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