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Bill Roache, 88, says Ken Barlow is a ‘roller coaster’ as he celebrates Coronation Street’s 60th

Bill Roache has reflected on his journey as Ken Barlow as he celebrated Coronation Street’s 60th anniversary on Wednesday.

The soap actor, 88, appeared on BBC Breakfast where he admitted that playing the Weatherfield legend has been a ‘roller coaster’.

Bill, who is the longest-serving soap star in the world, even joked at one stage he called himself a ‘one man Greek tragedy’ as Ken found himself faced with several major life events.

‘Roller coaster!’ Bill Roache has reflected on his journey as Ken Barlow as he celebrated Coronation Street’s 60th anniversary on Wednesday

Appearing via video from his home in Wilmslow, Cheshire, he said: ‘It’s been a bit of a roller coaster! I’ve had a few interesting experiences, the Barlows always tend to get the tragedy. 

‘I called myself a one man Greek tragedy at one point! But we’ve had the humour as well, with Blanche [played by late actress Maggie Jones].’

Bill added: ‘I was just thinking actually, this morning, it was this day, 60 years ago, we were all getting a bit nervous to do the first live episode and we had no idea of the impact it was going to have.’

Talking about what’s next for Coronation Street now it has celebrated its 60th anniversary, the actor said there’s ‘no reason’ why it shouldn’t go on forever.

Turbulent character: The soap actor, 88, appeared on BBC Breakfast where he admitted that playing the Weatherfield legend has been a 'roller coaster' (pictured in 1980)

Turbulent character: The soap actor, 88, appeared on BBC Breakfast where he admitted that playing the Weatherfield legend has been a ‘roller coaster’ (pictured in 1980)

He added: ‘It’s about ordinary people in a little back street fighting the adversity of life, the main thing is that the programme has been organic. 

‘It’s been changing with the times. Had we not, we would have been dinosaurs. There has to be a quality to our show like good writing, good producing, good acting and everything.

‘Given that, it isn’t just about police or hospitals, it’s about people but we include all those things. So there’s no reason why it shouldn’t go on forever.’ 

Elsewhere, Bill told Phil Williams on Times Radio that he initially turned down the role of Ken Barlow and only took it as he believed the soap would run for 11 weeks.

'One man Greek tragedy!' Bill even joked at one stage he called himself a 'one man Greek tragedy' as Ken found himself faced with several major life events

‘One man Greek tragedy!’ Bill even joked at one stage he called himself a ‘one man Greek tragedy’ as Ken found himself faced with several major life events 

He said: ‘Well, interestingly, I’d just done a play. I had a lead in a play playing a young army soldier in a play called Marking Time. And I was waiting for that to go out when my agent approached me and said about this Granada show.

‘It was going to be like going to a little local place and doing a little show about old families. And things didn’t sound very much. And I was waiting for this play to come out, which was going to be a quantum move in my career, it really was. 

‘And then he came back and he said, “Well, they want you to go and do the pilot. They’re paying for it. You’re just sitting in your flat in London at the moment, you might as well do it.”

‘So I went up and I did the pilot, which was very nice, and we all got on. But then I went back and then he said, “They want you for this now”. I said, “Look, I’ve told you I don’t want to do it. My play is coming out in a few weeks”. 

Wow! Corrie aired its first episode on 9th December 1960, starring a young Ken Barlow, who has gone onto become the longest-running character in soap history

Wow! Corrie aired its first episode on 9th December 1960, starring a young Ken Barlow, who has gone onto become the longest-running character in soap history 

Tragedy! Appearing via video from his home in Wilmslow, Cheshire, he said: 'It's been a bit of a roller coaster! I've had a few interesting experiences, the Barlows always tend to get the tragedy.' (pictured in 2010)

Tragedy! Appearing via video from his home in Wilmslow, Cheshire, he said: ‘It’s been a bit of a roller coaster! I’ve had a few interesting experiences, the Barlows always tend to get the tragedy.’ (pictured in 2010) 

‘And he said, “Well, look at it this way. This show is only going to run for 11 weeks and in the middle of that, one of those weeks, Monday is Coronation Street, Tuesday is Coronation Street and on the Wednesday night you’ve got the lead in the play. What a shop window”. So I thought, “Yeah, OK, I’ll do it.”‘

Bill said that they didn’t expect the soap to run for longer than 11 weeks and they were shocked over the ‘phenomenal impact’ it had.

He said: ‘We just thought it was going to run for 11 weeks. That was all that was intended. It was only when it went out and it was such a phenomenal impact that we were then offered a three year contract. 

‘That was the big decision-making time, but we’d already been running for a while.’

Icon: 'I called myself a one man Greek tragedy at one point! But we've had the humour as well, with Blanche [played by late actress Maggie Jones, pictured],' he added

Icon: ‘I called myself a one man Greek tragedy at one point! But we’ve had the humour as well, with Blanche [played by late actress Maggie Jones, pictured],’ he added  

Forever! Talking about what's next for Coronation Street now it has celebrated its 60th anniversary, the actor said there's 'no reason' why it shouldn't go on forever

Forever! Talking about what’s next for Coronation Street now it has celebrated its 60th anniversary, the actor said there’s ‘no reason’ why it shouldn’t go on forever 

Bill also revealed that he doesn’t like the term ‘soap’ and he finds it ‘derogatory’, he said: ‘There was no word like soap back then. And I still don’t like the word soap, it’s a derogatory term, but I have to accept that is what the genre is now called. 

‘We were a cutting edge new drama serial and we shot straight to the top 10 of the ratings and we’ve never been out since. It was amazing.’ 

Coronation Street celebrated its 60th Anniversary on Wednesday, with bosses marking the occasion with a week of action-packed storylines.

The ITV soap broke ground when it arrived on screens in 1960 as the first TV series to focus on a group of Northerners, and become a runaway hit despite originally being commissioned for 13 episodes.

Shock: Elsewhere, Bill told Phil Williams on Times Radio that he initially turned down the role of Ken Barlow and only took it as he believed the soap would run for 11 weeks (pictured on the soap in 1980)

Shock: Elsewhere, Bill told Phil Williams on Times Radio that he initially turned down the role of Ken Barlow and only took it as he believed the soap would run for 11 weeks (pictured on the soap in 1980) 

The soap has marked its 60th anniversary with a week of dramatic storylines, including the long-awaited verdict in Yasmeen Nazir’s trial after defending herself against her abusive husband Geoff Metcalfe. 

While Geoff was furious to learn Yasmeen had been acquitted on Monday night, his desperate attempts to prove his innocence could take a deadly turn on Wednesday, as he meets with Alya Nazir for a final showdown.

Only recently, it was reported that a host of Coronation Street‘s most recognisable stars have signed new deals to stick with the soap past its 60th anniversary.

Sally Dynevor, 57, who plays Sally Webster, and Bill are among those thought to be staying.

Exciting: Coronation Street celebrated its 60th Anniversary on Wednesday, with bosses marking the occasion with a week of action-packed storylines (Bill pictured in a spoiler snap)

Exciting: Coronation Street celebrated its 60th Anniversary on Wednesday, with bosses marking the occasion with a week of action-packed storylines (Bill pictured in a spoiler snap) 

Verdict: The soap has marked its 60th anniversary with a week of dramatic storylines, including the long-awaited verdict in Yasmeen Nazir's trial after defending herself against her abusive husband Geoff Metcalfe

Another twist: Geoff is seen setting fire to what appears to be a bag of paperwork in a different spoiler clip for the 60th celebrations

Verdict: The soap has marked its 60th anniversary with a week of dramatic storylines, including the long-awaited verdict in Yasmeen Nazir’s trial after defending herself against her abusive husband Geoff Metcalfe (L-R)

Others names allegedly set for at least another year on the cobbles include Michael Le Vell, 55, Simon Gregson, 46, and Sue Cleaver, 57, reports The Sun.

A source said: ‘These are the lifeblood of the show and, frankly, it would not be Corrie without them.

‘Despite a difficult year, bosses were delighted when they agreed deals, keeping them on screen until at least 2021. 

‘Between them, they have given nearly 200 years to the show.’

MailOnline contacted a representative for Coronation Street for comment at the time. 

The full interview airs at 8.30pm on Wednesday’s Times Radio. 

Amazing: Only recently, it was reported that a host of Coronation Street 's most recognisable stars have signed new deals to stick with the soap past its 60th anniversary, including Sally Dynevor, 57, who plays Sally Webster (pictured) and Bill

Amazing: Only recently, it was reported that a host of Coronation Street ‘s most recognisable stars have signed new deals to stick with the soap past its 60th anniversary, including Sally Dynevor, 57, who plays Sally Webster (pictured) and Bill 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk