Ken Barlow may be written out of 'Coronation Street' due to coronavirus lockdown

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JUNE 03:  William Roache attends The British Soap Awards at The Lowry Theatre on June 3, 2017 in Manchester, England. The Soap Awards will be aired on June 6 on ITV at 8pm.  (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)
William Roache has admitted he is likely to be written out of 'Corrie' for some time. (Getty Images)

Coronation Street’s William Roache is expecting to be written out of the of the soap “for some time” due to coronavirus.

The 88-year-old actor - who has played Ken Barlow in the ITV soap opera since 1960 - admitted he was sad that many of the older cast will not be able to return to the set as soon as filming resumes.

Roache told BBC Radio Derbyshire: "Senior members of the cast will not be called back for some time, sadly. I'd like to get back."

Read more: 'Coronation Street' star Andy Whyment warns soap could go off air

The veteran actor also admitted than when production on Corrie does begin again, social distancing rules will have an effect on the soap.

William Roache has played Ken Barlow in 'Corrie' since the soap began in 1960. (ITV)
William Roache has played Ken Barlow in 'Corrie' since the soap began in 1960. (ITV)

He said: "They've said it's going to be very, very different. Scenes will be about lockdown.

"Scenes will be shot more simply with less people. Cameras will be placed where there's required distance, so it will be very, very different when we get back."

Corrie stopped production on March 23rd due to the government lockdown to limit the spread of COVID-19 and has already been cut from airing six episodes a week to just three.

Meanwhile, Helen Worth, who plays Gail Platt told This Morning: “Because of lockdown I haven’t got any scripts so I’ve absolutely no idea what is going on...But I do know they’ve been working on it since lockdown started.”

Read more: This is the new soap schedule amid COVID-19 health crisis

Like most soaps it is filmed roughly three months in advance but is expected to run out of new pre-recorded episodes some time in early July. TV producers are now looking at ways of resuming filming with social distancing rules in place.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 20:  (L to R) Lucy Fallon, Bill Roache and Tisha Merry attend the 21st National Television Awards at The O2 Arena on January 20, 2016 in London, England.  (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)
Bill Roache is 88-years-old and so classed as vulnerable to COVID-19. (Getty Images)

People over the age of 70, which includes some of the cast of Corrie, have been told they are classed as vulnerable and warned to self-isolate at home for a minimum of 12 weeks to avoid catching coronavirus.

Social distancing rules also mean people are asked to stand at least 2 metres apart, which could cause complications with filming.

Andy Whyment, who plays Kirk Sutherland, has said if filming does not resume in June then the soap will run out of episodes.