Coronation Street star Bill Roache has said he was “thrilled to bits” to play out a storyline which sees his long-standing character Ken Barlow keel over from a stroke.
Viewers were left stunned after Ken and his son Peter Barlow (Chris Gascoyne) had a blazing row in which Peter slamemd his dad for being absent when he was a kid and blamed him for his troubled life. Moments later Ken - who is “riddled with guilt” - collapsed.
Bill told The Sun newspaper: “I think [show boss] Kate Oates is absolutely wonderful, and when she told me about this I was absolutely thrilled to bits.
“I don’t act, I try to be. So to be having a stroke is not good. You set things going in your body, but I do protect myself from that and tell myself I’m just an actor enjoying playing this.
“To have something positive to do is brilliant. I’m very much a here and now man and I can honestly tell you that when Kate told me – apart from my paranoia – I was absolutely thrilled.”
Ken’s stroke will lead to his grandson Adam Barlow and son Daniel Osbourne returning to Weatherfield to be at his side
Bill admitted when he first read the script he feared he was getting the sack.
He said: "When I found out about the storyline, I didn’t feel paranoid about my health, but I did feel paranoid about my job,” says Bill. The first thing I asked was ‘do I get better?’
““Being 84 years old myself, I’m very fortunate to have such a vital and vibrant story.”
Coronation Street continues tomorrow night on ITV at 7.30pm.