Corrie's Bill Roache speaks about not reaching dying daughter in time after crashing en route

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Bill Roache attending the 21st National Television Awards at The O2 Arena in 2016. (Getty)
Bill Roache attending the 21st National Television Awards at The O2 Arena in 2016. (Getty)

Coronation Street star Bill Roache has spoken about not being able to reach his dying daughter in time to say his goodbyes.

Roache, 86, has opened up about not being there after the car he was in crashed on its way to the hospital amid treacherous weather conditions.

Speaking to the Mirror, the actor revealed: ‘The pain of losing a child is unbearable.’

He recalled the night en route to the hospital and how he was unable to get there before his daughter passed away: ‘We were 15 minutes away,’ he began.

‘There was snow all over the place. The sat nav took us down a country road which went downhill and curved.

‘The car just went straight on, smashed a sign, went over a traffic island and hit a hedgerow, smashing the whole front of the car. It was 10.30pm. Recovery said they couldn’t get out for five hours. By the time I got to her it was too late.’

‘To not be able to say goodbye to Vanya was awful,’ he admits.

‘But I take some comfort in now knowing she is in a better place and at peace. I like to think about the happier times we had.

‘And when I say “I love you, Vanya” I know she hears it.’

Vanya died in March at the age of 50 after suffering from liver failure. Sadly, it wasn’t the first time the legendary Corrie actor had experienced the heartache of losing a child, after his 18-month-old daughter Edwina succumbed to pneumonia back in 1983.

Bill Roache arriving for the 2014 British Soap Awards at The Hackney Empire, London. (PA)
Bill Roache arriving for the 2014 British Soap Awards at The Hackney Empire, London. (PA)

The actor also shared his heartache of having his children pass away before him: ‘But your children going before you is horrendous,’ he said.

‘You’re responsible for your children. There’s a feeling of guilt. If your children die you feel you shouldn’t have let that happen.’

When the news broke at the start of March, speculation grew whether he’d return to the ITV1 soap at all, after being granted ‘indefinite leave’, but did so after a short time off to grieve before returning the famous Manchester street as Ken Barlow.

Roache has been playing the character for 57 years (after taking a year off between 2013 and 2014, making his debut on the show in 1960. He’s currently the fourth-longest-serving soap actor in the world, behind The Archers stars June Spencer (59), Patricia Greene (61), and Lesley Saweard (65).

Catch Coronation Street weeknights from 7.30pm, on ITV1.

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