William Roache

English actor

William Patrick Roache OBE (born 25 April 1932) is an English actor. He has played the role of Ken Barlow in the British ITV soap opera Coronation Street, since its first episode on 9 December 1960.

William Roache
William Roache Cropped.jpg
Roache in December 2012
William Patrick Roache

(1932-04-25) 25 April 1932 (age 91)
Years active1958–present
Anna Cropper (m. 1961–1974)
Sarah Mottram (m. 1978–2009)

(her death)
Partner(s)Emma Jesson (2010–2012)[1]
ChildrenLinus Roache (born 1964)
Vanya Roache (1967–2018)
Verity Roache (born 1981)
Edwina Roache (deceased)
James Roache (born 1985)

Early lifeEdit

Roache was born in Basford, Nottinghamshire. He grew up in Ilkeston, Derbyshire.


Roache played the leading role in a Granada Television play called Marking Time. It was shown on ITV in 1961. In a 2007 interview, Roache said, "Tony Warren, who created Coronation Street, saw it and thought I was right for Ken Barlow." In 2008, Roache's autobiography Soul on the Street was published.

Personal lifeEdit

Roache lives in Wilmslow, Cheshire. He supports the Conservative Party.[2]

Sex crime chargesEdit

On 1 May 2013, Roache was arrested at his home on suspicion of raping a 15-year-old girl in the 1960s.[3][4]


  1. Published Tuesday, Sep 25 2012, 13:58 BST (25 September 2012). "Corrie's Bill Roache cools romance with weather girl Emma Jesson?". Digital Spy. Retrieved 1 May 2013.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  2. "Bill Roache: His strange life and times". 15 March 2012 – via www.telegraph.co.uk.
  3. "William Roache found not guilty of rape and indecent assault". BBC News. 6 February 2014. Retrieved 6 February 2014.
  4. Evans, Martin (6 February 2014). "Bill Roache found not guilty of rape and assault charges". The Daily Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 12 January 2022. Retrieved 6 February 2014.

Other websitesEdit