The Radio Times logo

Coronation Street's William Roache to return following rare break due to positive Covid test

The actor has recovered well and is looking forward to getting back on the cobbles, says a spokesperson

ken barlow coronation street
Published: Saturday, 27th March 2021 at 12:19 pm

We can confirm that Coronation Street star William Roache will be back on the cobbles, following reports his character Ken Barlow had been temporarily written out of the ITV soap due to illness.


Bill, who holds the world record for being the longest continuous actor in a drama, has had to take time off from work after testing positive for Covid.

However, the 88-year-old has recovered well and is "looking forward to returning to the cobbles as soon as possible," an ITV spokesperson told

They added a statement for guidance and background, explaining: "Due to how far in advance the show is scripted and filmed there can be a lag between the time someone is off for health reasons and when they return to film if they were written out of a storyline. We are also currently limiting the time we are filming with the more elderly cast during the pandemic."

Viewers of the ITV soap will know that Ken is currently supporting his son Peter, as he battles a life-threatening alcohol addiction.

Peter, played by actor Chris Gascoyne, has been on a downward spiral ever since he relapsed last year.

He's been missing work and turning up to places clearly inebriated.

Recently, we saw him rushed to hospital after collapsing. Although his girlfriend Carla Connor and co-owner of Street Cars, Steve McDonald, accused him of drinking, doctors confirmed that he wasn't, however, revealed he was suffering from the side effects of the damage done to his liver.

Peter Barlow
Peter Barlow ITV

It posed the question whether this could be the end for Coronation Street's Carla and Peter, as their relationship was tested once again.


It's not yet known how Ken will be kept away from the soap as Bill recovers on the outside, but ITV has confirmed that "scripts involving Bill's character Ken are currently being written."

Visit our dedicated Coronation Street page for all the latest news, interviews and spoilers. If you’re looking for more to watch check out our TV guide.

Sponsored content