Entertainment

Corrie veteran Bill Roache’s family release portraits to mark Ken Barlow star turning 90


The family of Coronation Street legend Bill Roache have released a series of new portraits of the veteran actor to mark his milestone 90th birthday today (April 25).

The photographs were captured by his son Will and taken at the family home in Cheshire, and show the actor looking worlds away from his on-screen alter ego Ken Barlow.

ITV viewers saw the man behind the world’s longest-running soap character in a recent documentary, released earlier this month to celebrate his milestone birthday.

Bill – who has been on Corrie since it’s first ever episode in 1960 – was seen enjoying the company of son Will and daughter Verity, with the photos capturing this side of him.



New portraits of Bill Roache have been released to mark his 90th birthday
New portraits of Bill Roache have been released to mark his 90th birthday



The two photographs were taken at home in Cheshire by his son Will Roache
The two photographs were taken at home in Cheshire by his son Will Roache

Discussing the portraits, Will said they had “a lot fun” taking the photos, teasing that it showcased a part of his father’s personality that is “rarely seen publicly”.

He explained: “I think just having the family there made my father feel more relaxed which enabled me to capture his true vivacious personality and vibrant essence.”

Bill said: “Will is really talented, he studied photography when he was younger so he has a lot of technical knowledge but for me it was about how relaxed we all felt.”



Bill (centre) pictured with sons Will (left) and Linus (right)
Bill (centre) pictured with sons Will (left) and Linus (right)

He said the photoshoot took place in the conservatory, with the family chatting and laughing during the session – with Will knowing “just when to capture the moment”.

Bill has revealed that he is particularly fond of the new portraits taken by his son, stating: “I can honestly say those are the best photographs I’ve ever had taken.”

The two previously unseen photographs were part of a set of new image for the re-release of an updated version of Bill’s book Life and Soul, originally published in 2018.



He's played Ken Barlow on Corrie since 1960
He’s played Ken Barlow on Corrie since 1960

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It is described as an “inspiring guide”, with the book featuring Bill’s philosophy, practical tips and lessons that are said to help lead readers to a happy and healthy life.

Bill added: “They wanted some up to date photographs for the new version of the book and it was lovely for Will to be able to take them, it was exactly what they wanted”.

The actor said it “felt like the right time” to update the book – in light of his milestone birthday – and following the past two years which has “affected everyone differently”.



Bill pictured with daughter Verity (left), late wife Sara (centre right) and son Will (right)
Bill pictured with daughter Verity (left), late wife Sara (centre right) and son Will (right)

He teased that it now includes mention of how the Covid pandemic affected him, with him having also taken the opportunity to reflect on his life over the last four years.

Bill further commented about the update: “I just wrote the new elements as best I could, reflecting some of the differences that have occurred in the last four years.”

The documentary Happy Birthday Bill is available through ITV Hub. And the new edition of the actor’s book Life and Soul: Secrets for Living a Long and Happy is out now.

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