1. ITV Report

Revealed: Bill Roache's screen kiss romance

Bill Roache, who plays Ken Barlow, was interviewed by Piers Morgan Photo: PA

Coronation Street veteran Bill Roache has revealed how an on-screen kiss for Ken Barlow led to real-life off-screen passion for him.

The 79-year-old actor, who recently claimed to have bedded hundreds of women including soap legend Pat Phoenix, told Piers Morgan about the affair.

In an interview with the former newspaper editor on his Life Stories show, Roache said: "A kiss is a demonstration of affection and it should be sincere and truly meant, but you've got to be careful to keep the lust out of it when you're acting.

"You can turn lust into love and you can make a kiss truly loving and truly affectionate...a loving and caring kiss without the lust."

Asked how many kisses in the show had led to real passion in the last 50 years, Roache said "one" but refused to be drawn on the subject.

His character, a mainstay of the ITV1 soap since its beginning in 1960, has had dozens of relationships in his time on the cobbles including four marriages and Roache said Ken's complicated lovelife had caused him problems in real life.

He said: "Ken was having an affair and I was dropping my daughter off at school and the mother was with her daughter and she pulled her daughter away and said, 'Don't talk to him'.

"However a few years later that mother came up to me and said, 'At the time my husband was doing the same thing and it was so raw, but I have to say it helped me to get through it and come to terms with it'.

"Because in Coronation Street although a lot of people do naughty things, you always pay the price, that is why it's a very moral show."

  • The full interview is on Piers Morgan's Life Stories: Bill Roache on ITV1 at 9pm tonight.