'Coronation Street' legend William Roache reveals secret to staying fit into his 90s

·Contributor
·2-min read
William Roache said playground games have helped to keep him in good health. (WireImage/Getty)
William Roache said playground games have helped to keep him in good health. (WireImage/Getty)

William Roache has revealed the secret to the extraordinary fitness and longevity which has allowed him to keep working into his 10th decade of life.

The Coronation Street stalwart turns 90 later this month and shows no signs of slowing down, having spent more than 60 years on the cobbles — the entire lifespan of the beloved soap.

Read more: William Roache didn't want to do Corrie

Roache, who is the world's longest-serving actor in a continuous TV role, said in a new documentary about his life — set to air on Tuesday — that his active lifestyle is key.

Speaking in Happy Birthday Bill, reported via The Sun, Roache credited his fitness to a regular exercise class in which he and others take part in playground-style games rather than a traditional gym session.

William Roache joined Coronation Street as part of the original cast of the ITV soap in 1960. (PA)
William Roache joined Coronation Street as part of the original cast of the ITV soap in 1960. (PA)

He said: "It's such a lovely group of people of all ages from five to me at 90. It's not like going to the gym and doing a heavy serious workout. It's called funfit for a reason.

"We play games like tag zombies. It's like a form of school game, you're chasing around.

Read more: William Roache bemoans lack of community feel on Corrie

"We're doing things that we enjoy all the time. It's good to be together. It hasn't got that seriousness about working out and that sort of thing."

Roache said he has "always been very active" and that this has helped him to maintain the demanding schedule of being a soap actor as he has got older.

William Roache holds the record for being the TV actor who has spent the longest continuous period playing the same character. (ITV)
William Roache holds the record for being the TV actor who has spent the longest continuous period playing the same character. (ITV)

Roache has played Coronation Street resident Ken Barlow since 1960 and has been involved in numerous high-profile storylines, including his on-off romance with wife Deirdre — played by the late Anne Kirkbride.

He has spent some time away from the show in recent years due to the risks posed by having older members of the cast on set during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read more: William Roache ready for Corrie return after COVID-19 absence

Before starting his career as an actor, Roache served in the British Army and rose to the rank of captain before leaving in 1956.

Happy Birthday Bill will air on ITV at 8pm on Tuesday.

Watch: Take a look ahead to a week of drama on Coronation Street

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