Corrie veteran Bill Roache’s family is releasing portraits to celebrate the Ken Barlow star’s 90th birthday

Coronation Street legend William Roache – best known for playing Ken Barlow on the ITV soap opera since 1960 – has turned 90 today, as made clear by the documentary Happy Birthday Bill

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

Taken by his son Will and taken at the family home in Cheshire, the photos show the actor looking a world away from his on-screen alter ego, Ken Barlow.

ITV viewers caught sight of the man behind the world’s longest-running soap opera in a recent documentary released earlier this month to celebrate his milestone birthday.

Bill – who has been with Corrie since the very first episode in 1960 – was seen enjoying the company of son Will and daughter Verity, with the photos capturing that side of him.

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


Will Roache, Will Roache Photography Ltd.)

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


Will Roache, Will Roache Photography Ltd.)

Discussing the portraits, Will said they had “a lot of fun” taking the photos and teased that they showed a part of his father’s personality that was “seldom seen in public.”

He explained, “I think just having the family there made my dad feel more relaxed, which allowed me to capture his true vibrant 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) with sons Will (left) and Linus (right)



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

Bill has revealed he’s particularly fond of his son’s new portraits, saying: “I can honestly say these are the best photos I’ve ever taken.”

The two previously unreleased photos were part of a series of new images for the re-release of an updated version of Bill’s book, Life and Soul, originally published in 2018.

He has played Ken Barlow in Corrie since 1960



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Described as an “inspirational guide”, the book contains Bill’s philosophy, practical tips and lessons designed to help readers live happy and healthy lives.

Bill added, “They wanted some recent photos for the new version of the book and it was nice 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 – given his milestone birthday – and after the past two years which have “affected everyone differently”.

Bill 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 has affected him, while also taking the opportunity to reflect on his life over the past four years.

Bill further commented on the update: “I wrote the new elements as best I could and reflected some of the differences that have arisen over the past four years.”

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

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