ITV Coronation Street flooded with comments over new Bill Roache pictures taken by son to mark 90th birthday

Coronation Street has been flooded with messages about its legendary star as he marks his 90th birthday. William Roache, who has played Barlow patriarch Ken since the very first episode of the ITV soap, is celebrating the big milestone on Monday (April 25).

To mark the special occasion, his family have shared new portraits of the soap star taken at the family home in Cheshire by his son, Will. The two images see Bill smiling and relaxed and Will says they captured his father’s “vibrant essence”.

The veteran actor 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.

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“Will set everything up in the conservatory and we were all just chatting and laughing and he knew just when to capture the moment. I can honestly say those are the best photographs I’ve ever had taken.”

Will, who recently starred in an ITV documentary Happy Birthday Bill which was released to mark his father’s milestone birthday, added: “We had a lot of fun taking these shots. I think just having the family there made my father feel more relaxed which enabled me to capture his true vivacious personality and vibrant essence, the part of him that we are lucky enough to see every day, but is rarely seen publicly.”

The two previously unseen photographs were part of a set of new images for the re-release of an updated version of Bill’s book Life And Soul – his life lessons for leading a happy, healthy life. Bill added: “They wanted some up-to-date photographs for the new version of the book and it was lovely for Will to be able to take them, it was exactly what they wanted.”

Bill is marking his 90th birthday

Bill explained that four years after releasing the book he felt the time was right to update it. “Well, of course it was my children who first got me to write it four years ago. It felt like the right time to update it as I am turning 90 and also after the past two years and how they have affected everyone differently.

“So talk a bit about how the pandemic affected me. But also we’re always changing. You know, it’s funny how you can read a line in the book that was really meaningful to you and you come back and you read that same line about two years later and it means something even more.

“What that means is you are opening up your awareness and you are evolving as a human being. I just wrote the new elements as best I could, reflecting some of the differences that have occurred in the last four years.”

Sharing the photos to Corrie’s social media channels, the soap said: “As William Roache turns 90 today his family have marked the occasion with these stunning new portraits taken by William’s son Will.” And the comments soon came flooding in for the star.

“Happy 90th Birthday to the ultimate Corrie legend! Hope you enjoy your special day. Hard to believe he’s 90 as well, watched him on the documentary last week and he seems to have more energy than people who are decades younger than him!” Liam Hughes said on Facebook.

Lauren Jenny Valerie West shared: “Happy birthday William! Looking amazing for your age and an absolute inspiration! Coronation Street wouldn’t be the same without you! I hope you have a lovely day. You certainly do not look 90!”

Bill as Ken in Coronation Street

“Wonderful photos of a very special person and brilliant actor. I have watched Corrie from the very beginning and still love it. Wishing you a wonderful 90th birthday, you certainly don’t look anywhere near 90!” Tricia Hercoe echoed.

And the fact he is now 90-years-old is still coming as a surprise to fans. Appearing on This Morning last week, the Corrie icon was questioned by host Phillip Schofield on the secret to looking so good and being so well for his age, stating that his main thing previously has been “being positive.”

“Yes, it is mainly,” Bill agreed. “There’s certainly basics to life like eating enough vegetables, drinking enough water, getting enough exercise. But I think probably the worst thing is stress. If you listen to the news and read the papers too much, there’s not much joy around is there? So if you can enjoy yourself and find the joy in whatever you do, it makes such a big difference.”

Speaking about his big day last Thursday (April 21), Bill admitted that he had “no idea what he’s doing to celebrate, but that he would be “surprised if there was no surprise!”