Ken Barlow

fictional character in Coronation Street

Ken Barlow is a fictional character from the British ITV soap opera Coronation Street, played by William Roache. Barlow was created by Tony Warren as one of Coronation Street's original characters, and December 2020 marked Ken's 60th anniversary onscreen. He debuted in the soap's first episode on 9 December 1960. Having appeared in the role continuously since that date, Roache is the longest-serving actor in a televised soap opera and was honoured at the 2010 Guinness World Records ceremony for the achievement, having surpassed actor Don Hastings from the American soap opera As the World Turns, who previously held this title. Roache stated in 2010 that he had no plans to leave the role and would remain in Coronation Street for as long as the producers would have him. In November 2020, Roache was again presented with the Guinness World Record for the longest serving TV soap star in the world for his six decades in Coronation Street.[1]

Ken Barlow
Coronation Street character
Portrayed byWilliam Roache
First appearanceEpisode 1
9 December 1960
Created byTony Warren
Introduced byStuart Latham
Book appearancesCoronation Street: The Complete Saga
Coronation Street: The War Years
Ken and Deirdre's Bedtime Stories (2011)
ClassificationPresent; regular
  • Teacher
  • Warehouse executive
  • Taxi driver
  • Community Development Officer
  • Newspaper editor
  • Shop assistant
Home1 Coronation Street
Roache has played the role of Ken since the shows first episode in 1960.


  1. Harding, Laura (2020-11-12). "Ken Barlow actor gets Guinness World Records award as longest serving soap star". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 2020-11-12.