William Patrick ‘Bill’ Roache, celebrates his 85th birthday on 25 April 2017. Best known for his role in Coronation Street as the character Ken Barlow, he has been in the soap from the very first episode on 9 December 1960 and is listed in the Guinness World Records as the longest-serving living actor in a continuous role. Born in Basford, Nottinghamshire, Roache was educated at Rydal School and went on to join the British Army in 1953. After leaving the Army he turned to acting, appearing in stage productions and had several film roles before going into television. In 1999 he was awarded the British Soap Awards Lifetime Achievement Award for his role as Ken Barlow. His 2008 autobiography is entitled Soul on the Street. In the 2001 New Year’s Honours list, Roache was awarded an MBE.