Bill Roache considered quitting 'Coronation Street' in his 40s.

Bill Roache

Bill Roache

The 88-year-old actor is the Guinness World Record holder as the longest-serving male TV star in a continuous role after portraying Ken Barlow since the ITV soap's first episode in December 1960, but he nearly departed Weatherfield four decades ago.

Asked if he has ever thought about leaving 'Corrie', he said: "There was a time in my 40s when I did think about it. But I've always loved 'Coronation Street' and I remember a director saying that, every now and then, you'll get a scene in 'Corrie' that is as good as any film, and that's absolutely right.

"So I get tremendous job satisfaction and therefore I never seriously considered leaving."

But Bill insists retirement is "not on [his] radar", and he doesn't like to think about how Ken could be written out of the show.

Speaking to OK! magazine, he added: "Well, while I can do it and they want me, I will be there. Retirement is not on the radar at all, I have no plans for that.

"I don't even like to think about how they'd write Ken out if I did leave, because hopefully that is never going to happen."

Last month, Bill revealed he had been writing a novel during lockdown.

He said: "My daughter Verity is an artist and she has taught me to draw a bit, so I've been doing some drawing, and also some writing.

"I've been writing a story, which I've really been enjoying.

"It's an adventure story, where a couple are doing up an old house and they find a letter from the war about a guy who found a chalice and had hidden it in a church.

"They go back and try to find it and they do find it. It has a psychic side to it as well.

"I don't want to reveal too much about it."

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