ITV has announced plans for a brand new documentary to celebrate the upcoming 90th birthday of Coronation Street's William Roache OBE.


The star has played Ken Barlow since the soap's very first episode in 1960, and his latest milestone will be commemorated by Happy Birthday Bill, which will celebrate his life and career.

Roache holds the Guinness World Record as the longest-running soap star on television, and has been involved in many explosive storylines during more than six decades on the show.

One of his biggest plots was the love triangle between Ken, wife Deirdre (Anne Kirkbride) and her lover Mike Baldwin (Johnny Briggs) back in 1983, which made headlines when Corrie aired the resulting showdown.

Coronation Street Ken Barlow
Coronation Street's Ken Barlow has been part of the soap since its debut in 1960 ITV

Ken has had a fair few affairs himself, and has even been the victim of a whodunnit and lived to tell the tale! The Barlows continue to be a prominent clan on the soap to this day.

The documentary will feature appearances from Roache's fellow cast members, as well as former co-stars and the actor's own family. ITV has revealed that the special instalment will also look back at the moments and people who have shaped both Ken and William Roache himself.

Ken and Deirdre were at the heart of some of the soap's biggest plots ITV

We'll also see glimpses of his home life away from Corrie, and some behind-the-scenes gossip from the star's almost 62 years on the show. There's also the promise of a visit to Roache's old army barracks to let viewers in on his past career, before everything changed when he won the role of a lifetime.

Speaking about the documentary, Roache said: “I don’t feel nearly ninety at all. The Coronation Street cast are like a second family to me and I can’t quite believe I’ve been lucky enough to play Ken Barlow for over 60 years. It’s also been lovely revisiting past memories and remembering all the wonderful things I have seen and done over the years.

"I hope the viewers enjoy watching the documentary as much as I did making it.”

Viewers will hear more details about the airdate for Happy Birthday Bill in the coming weeks.

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