Coronation Street at 60: Ken Barlow actor Bill Roache admits he 'didn't want to do' soap but now never wants to retire

  • Video report by ITV News Arts Editor Nina Nannar

Sixty years ago, the cast of a new TV drama were preparing for the start of an 11 week experiment on ITV.

The working title, Florizel Street, was never used on air. But within three months Coronation Street had become the most popular thing on television.

For all those 60 years only one character has remained constant - Ken Barlow - making the man who plays him - William Roache - the world's longest running soap actor.

Arguably his most memorable storyline was his involvement in a love triangle in the 80s with wife Deirdre and rival Mike Baldwin.

To mark the official anniversary on Wednesday, he has told ITV News how he didn't really want the job at the beginning but now at the age of 88 he never wants to retire.

Mr Roache said: "It was something I didn't want to do, my agent persuaded me, there wasn't anything to do. The play hadn't come out yet, a lot of good publicity it would be.

"Coronation Street would be on Monday and Friday and my play would be on Wednesday and it was only going to run for 11 weeks - so in the end he persuaded me to do it.

"And as one director said, every so often you get scenes in Coronation Street that are as good as any play in the West End and any film, and he's absolutely right."

The job changed his life and the TV landscape, he said.

"There's no reason why it shouldn't go on forever," he added.