Corrie legend Bill Roache is taking some time off from the soap after the tragic death of his daughter.
Roache, 85, has been granted indefinite compassionate leave from the show, after the star’s eldest daughter, Vayna, 50, passed away last week.
According to The Sun, a source says that the actor who plays telly icon Ken Barlow is ‘utterly heartbroken’, and it’s believed that bosses have granted him as much time as he needs to mourn her loss.
‘Bill is utterly heartbroken. No father should have to go through the loss of a child, let alone two. ITV are giving him all the time he needs but he’s understandably very upset,’ the insider says.
‘After hearing the news on Friday he’s been told to take as long as required. There’s no word just yet on when he’ll return.’
Sadly, it marks the death of Roache’s second child. In 1983 his 18-month-old daughter, Edwina, died as a result of pneumonia.
More tragedy struck the actor in 2009, when his second wife, Sara, suddenly died at their home, aged 58. After marrying in 1978 and having three children – Edwina, Vayna, and William – she collapsed and died in their Cheshire home moments after the pair had been chatting in bed as usual.
Roache has assumed the role of Corrie regular Ken Barlow for over half a century, first appearing in the ITV soap in December of 1960. It’s unclear when he will return to the cobbles and will likely have his character’s storyline altered to fit with his absence.
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