Coronation Street veteran William Roache turns 90 next week and the milestone will be celebrated in a new ITV documentary called Happy Birthday Bill
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Coronation Street veteran Bill Roache said he was moved to tears by a private video message from Sir Ian McKellen to mark his 90th birthday – which is next week.
The 89-year-old actor – best known for playing Ken Barlow on the soap opera – said the words came as the 82-year-old ‘Lord of the Rings’ star voiced an ITV documentary on the occasion.
Roache commented, “It was a nice surprise. What he said actually brought tears to my eyes because he is such a kind man. And I was so touched by this news.”
McKellen joined Corrie briefly in 2005, taking on the role of author Mel Hutchwright, who became friends on the show with Emily Bishop, played by Eileen Derbyshire, 90.
Roache revealed that despite being with the soap for 60 years, he’s still learning – which he says is the secret to his successful career – including from McKellen.
He recently stated: “Having someone like Ian McKellen come out onto the streets was a wonderful opportunity to learn from him. I study all the time.”
“It keeps you young. If I got complacent or said, ‘I’ve done 60 years, now I know everything’, that wouldn’t be right,” the actor continued to comment on his experience.
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The new documentary, titled Happy Birthday Bill, sees him reunite with his former co-star Anne Reid, 86, who played his on-screen wife Valerie Barlow from 1961 to 1971.
Roache recently said that meeting Reid after all these years was a highlight of the one-off special, describing their reunion as a “beautiful moment.”
He said of the special, “It was very nostalgic.” He will also visit the first barracks he stayed in during his military career in the 1950s.
And the actor has revealed that despite his age, he’s still not ready to leave Corrie. He said: “Although I can do it and they will have me, I have no intention of retiring.”
Happy Birthday Bill airs tomorrow night at 8pm on ITV.
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https://www.mirror.co.uk/3am/celebrity-news/corries-bill-roache-teary-eyed-26739551 Corrie's Bill Roache in tears over Sir Ian McKellen's 90th birthday video