A spokesperson for the show defended the opinions expressed by Ken in the scripts, saying, "Coronation Street is a soap opera set in modern society and therefore represents views from all side of the religious spectrum". " Briggs has claimed that Ken was envious of Mike because he was rich and successful while Ken was not, and Roache has claimed that the reason Ken disliked Mike was because he was a self-centred and self-made individual.. It was appalling", recalled Roache. When it came to the sort of job he would do, it was clear that teaching fitted perfectly with him as a person. " She hoped that Ken and Martha were "soon in the throes of ecstasy", because Ken deserved it. He realized that he had wasted his time being with Deirdre, and wishes that he had not married her, but truly loved her more than his other wives, despite her affair with men like Adam's father Mike in 1983.  To promote Mike's final scenes, Radio Times released a series of photographs with Ken and Mike re-enacting Arthur Devis's (1807) painting of the death of Horatio Nelson—Baldwin was shown surrounded by his nearest and dearest during his final moments, with Ken prominently positioned next to him, taking on the role of Captain Hardy, Nelson's trusted colleague to whom Nelson famously uttered "Kiss me" before he died.  Valerie died after being electrocuted while trying to mend a faulty hair dryer. Denise briefly returned in 2017 as part of Who Attacked Ken?, for her son Daniel was the attacker. By her late teens, she was a qualified hairdresser and running her own salon called Maison Valerie, stumping up half of the money to set it up herself with her father loaning her the rest. Peter is released from prison but makes the decision to leave the street, as he has hardly anything keeping him around, which hurts Simon. The storyline led to the fifth fistfight between Ken and Mike in the soap's history, with the pair brawling at the funeral of Susan. He is the eldest son born to Frank (Frank Pemberton) and Ida Barlow (Noel Dyson). When she is dumped by Mike in favour of Jackie Ingram (Shirin Taylor), she starts seeing Ken.  The writers were initially uncertain whether to continue with Ken as a single father, or dispatch the children and pursue a less-encumbered lifestyle.  In 1983, Roache, Kirkbride and Briggs were named TV Personalities of the Year at the Pye Colour Television Awards, for their performances in the Ken–Deirdre–Mike love triangle storyline. He characterised Ken and Albert's relationship as "often a little bumpy and uncomfortable, but underlying all of that was an affection the two had for each other. Poor Annie wasn't prepared for what happened to her next and actually burst into tears because of the ferocity of my performance. Roache almost declined the invitation to audition: "I wa… Peter is found guilty of the murder and sentenced to life in prison.  Harvey has suggested that when he researched the play, in the top five storylines for each of the 50 years of Coronation Street, three characters regularly featured—Ken, Deirdre and Gail Platt. Although Deirdre is angry, she forgives him as he had forgiven her fling with Dev; however, Deirdre later cheats on Ken again, kissing Lewis Archer (Nigel Havers). There were only "kissing scenes" written into scripts, but the production team made it clear they were having a sexual relationship. Peter Barlow is a fictional character from the British ITV soap opera, Coronation Street, played by Chris Gascoyne since 2000.  Journalist Brian Viner of The Independent has suggested that Roache has not been given the accolades he has deserved as a performer because of his longevity in the role of Ken. He returns in August 2014 to find his family in chaos. In one storyline, Ken had to start looking after the children more frequently, but he grew bored and would often leave them unattended. To worsen his situation, he was initially suspected of murdering her. "I watch every episode otherwise I wouldn’t know what people are on about. , Ken and Deidre have been described as soap opera's version of Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor. 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.  The Guardian columnist Nancy Banks-Smith spoke highly of Ken's affair with Martha Fraser in 2009, calling it "a muted ingenious storyline". Ken was in the very first episode of Coronation Street - in his childhood home.  Blanche was willing to put her wit aside and fight to ensure that Ken and Deirdre stayed together, although most of the time, she interfered in his life. This frustrated Susan, who actually liked Coronation Street. " He changed his mind at the insistence of his agent, and attended the audition, at which he was asked to read The Daily Telegraph newspaper in a Lancashire accent.  Roache sued for libel in 1990 when The Sun newspaper ran an article branding Ken boring and making allegations that Roache was disliked among the cast of Coronation Street.  Roache enjoyed the aftermath, as it added a new dimension to Ken, whereby "He was a married man with kids, and had all of those good intentions, but he was also liable to stray and clearly had trouble resisting the temptation of another woman.  Their wedding coincided with professional unease for actor Roache, who feared that Ken was becoming boring, to the detriment of his own self-confidence. The letter is written by Ken's first girlfriend, Susan Cunningham (Patricia Shakesby), whom Ken had dated in 1960.  Upon separating from Elaine, Ken confided in his friend Rita (Knox) that, "There were other fellers more glamorous, more successful, more wealthy and more interesting than me." ", Ken has a reputation for being boring. He marched into the office and let him have it. " Roache won the case and was awarded £50,000; however, he was forced to pay legal costs, which bankrupted him. Requested by: Dominic WilemanI own none of this all rights go to ITV No copyright intended ©️ " The storyline was unpopular with viewers, who did not approve of the wedding. It was very old-fashioned in many ways, but he could never see it that way and it was often left to the women he had relationships with to remind him of that trait in his character. " Between the periods of 1960 and 2007, Ken married four times and dated 27 women, including a character played by the then unknown actress Joanna Lumley, who played headmaster's daughter Elaine Perkins in 1973. Liz announces Deirdre's death in The Rovers Return. Roache said: "I was a sort of young semi-heartthrob in those days and thought getting married was going to finish all that. At best the two characters sometimes tolerated each other in an uneasy truce, but at worst the two of them not only threw insults at each other, but punches too. He recovers from his injuries in hospital. Although he had rarely done so in the past, he voiced his concerns to the series' producer, dismayed that the character "seemed to be floating in a nebulous state". , — Roache recalls his favourite Coronation Street scene. In early 2016, Ken dumps Nessa after finding out Nessa had an affair with her sister Cathy's late husband. At one stage, Ken was making plans to leave Weatherfield.  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. " When Ken discovered the truth the wedding was called off, with Ken telling Denise to "get out before I kill you".. Ken and Deirdre's fictional relationship made newspaper headlines in Britain in 1983, due to Deirdre's adultery with Mike Baldwin. *Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, Fandom will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Ken turned down a teaching job in Surrey so he didn't have to leave Weatherfield, and told Frank he was turned down so Frank wouldn't feel guilty.  Ken was originally intended to have a sister named Enid.  Comparing Ken's relationships with Martha and Deirdre to a prison sentence, Graham said Martha offered Ken a deserving parole from the "years of breaking rocks in the prison yard of his marriage to Deirdre. Eventually, he admits to the infidelity. He concluded that Roache proved his theory correct, and praised his performance. On-screen, Ken was opposed to Lawrence's views and decided to embrace James' sexuality. " Moran suggested that Ken has led "what Hoggart once called a 'carousel life', a life not of the upward trajectory of the professional career but of living from year to year and taking whatever job turns up." Ken tries to make Peter change his mind but he is adamant on leaving, so Ken respects his wishes and sees him off At this point, Deirdre should have come home but called back to say she was staying with Bev a while longer, as one of her relatives had just died. Janet flits in and out of Ken's life until 1977, when she kills herself by taking an overdose when Ken turns down a reconciliation. In being portrayed as both moralistic and a political activist, he differed from the other characters in the soap opera, predominantly working-class like himself. I shall miss those terribly.  His boredom with his marriage caused him to have an affair with Jackie Marsh (Pamela Craig). The storyline has been called a turning point for Ken—when he realised he belonged in Coronation Street and had to help the community and Albert alike. ", Janet and Ken split up in 1974. Roache was initially sceptical about the impact marriage would have on Ken's development. In 1961, Ken's mother dies in a motor accident.  Numerous fights between Ken and Mike were featured, and Briggs has suggested that they became famous for their brawls. After Baldwin asked why Deirdre had put the phone down when he'd called earlier, I slammed the door shut with my left hand and then slammed poor Annie against the door itself, leaving her shaken and shocked. , Ken is renowned for having had multiple relationships with women during his time in Coronation Street. , Television personality Paul O'Grady wrote the foreword to Roache's 2010 autobiography, 50 Years on the Street. In mid-2013, Ken leaves the street temporarily to look after his grandson Adam in Canada. Partly fuelled by his previous frustration with Ken's "lame" characterisation, Roache approached the episode's director, Brian Mills, and requested that Ken be allowed to hit Mike. ", — Roache, on Ken and Janet's relationship. Mike discovered Adam's existence in 2001; Susan attempted to flee, but was killed in a motor accident. Scenes since have seen Tracy and his son Peter Barlow … Though the filming set-up planned for the scene did not allow for this, it was agreed that Ken would attempt to hit Mike, and that Deirdre would intervene. Daniel's mother Denise, now single, gets the wrong idea and attempts to rekindle a romance with Ken; Ken rebuffs her advances and returns to Deirdre. Ken was intended to stand and meekly watch Mike and Deirdre chatting on his doorstep. Despite being generally "well-meaning", Roache assessed that for the first two decades of Coronation Street, Ken had a ruthless streak where women were involved. Ken Barlow was introduced as the educated son of a working-class family. Despite his somewhat antagonistic role in the show's early years, Ken developed a reputation among critics for representing an archetypal "boring man". Their close relationship resulted in Roache challenging the series producers when a script required Ken to allow Daniel to be taken away by his mother. " Little suggested that Ken has transformed from an angry young man who never fitted in and was always challenging the system, into a bore next door, eventually discovering that he couldn't change the world after all. In July 2015, Deirdre dies and Ken is absolutely devastated by this news. Her problem is that she just doesn't know whether she's coming or going. Producer Maire Tracey said, "The fact that Mike dies in Ken's arms says it all.  Ken has had several forays into journalism for left-wing publications over the years, and was occasionally shown to be frustrated that his political views were not shared by others.  Ken has been spoofed by Jon Culshaw in The Impressions Show, where he is having a secret affair with Pat Evans from EastEnders, spoofed by Debra Stephenson. He has also been spoofed by impressionist Jon Culshaw. Ben East of The Stage said the romance was "genuinely funny". When Albert revealed he could not pay his bills on his pension, Ken opted to stay.  Roache almost declined the invitation to audition: "I wasn't interested. , The character has a reputation amongst critics as boring and a man of morals; Moran dubbed him the archetypal boring man. , In September 2010, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of Coronation Street, BBC Four aired a drama film titled The Road to Coronation Street, which depicted Tony Warren's struggle to get his soap opera commissioned, and the filming of its pilot.  Ken meets Martha by the canal while he is walking his dog, Eccles. When I introduce myself I add, ‘Ken Barlow – as in Coronation Street ’.  In 2010 Roache pledged to stay with Coronation Street: "I'm not even thinking about retiring.  Gareth McLean of Radio Times was critical of the storyline: "When it comes to self-delusion, Ken takes the biscuit, claims the cake and wolfs down the éclair. , Ken's first notable relationship in the serial was with the character Valerie Tatlock (Anne Reid) in 1961. He’s … On Christmas Day 1991, Mike lures Alma back into his bed to get back at Ken. The storyline "horrified" viewers, and Craig received abusive letters from angry fans. Ken and Mike were bound together by armed robbers, which facilitated an end to their feud; Ken helped Mike to combat a panic attack. Warren decided against her inclusion, and instead created a younger brother, professional footballer David (Rothwell), to enable the show to represent teenage males. Ken Barlow has been in Coronation Street since the first episode He was just a baby-faced 23 when he married his first wife, Valerie Tatlock. It rarely pays to be too clever or too rich in soapland as the majority of plotlines rely upon tragic Shakespearian falls from grace which everyone laughs their socks off at. The suspect list was initially narrowed down to six: Adam Barlow (Sam Robertson), Peter Barlow (Chris Gascoyne), Tracy Barlow (Kate Ford), Daniel Osbourne (Rob Mallard), Pat Phelan (Connor McIntyre) and Sinead Tinker (Katie McGlynn). It seemed to fit perfectly with the lives that had been created for them throughout their time in Coronation Street. Ken is a nice guy, a loyal guy, a reliable guy. While auditionees for the other twenty-one original roles were drawn from casting director Margaret Morris' contacts in the north of England, Warren spotted William Roache performing in the Granada Television play Marking Time, and knew that he was the right actor to play Ken. This was one of those rare times he caught Mike off-guard. That we have been able to watch the evolution of that young man into the Ken Barlow we know today, no less self-righteous but with 50 years of experiences behind him, is frankly one of the wonders of British television. Twins Peter (Robert Heanue) and Susan (Katie Heanneau) are born on 15 April 1965. He is listed in the Guinness World Records as the longest-serving male television star in a … " While Dyson left the series under her own volition, Pemberton later became one of several cast members fired under Aspinall's tenure as producer. Discussing this, author Hobson has suggested that Ken's numerous relationships could give the impression that the character is a lothario or a great romantic; however, Hobson noted that this would be inaccurate as Ken is "neither a great romantic nor someone with whom you would be wise to trust your romantic or emotional future. They eventually remarry on 8 April 2005; although in January 2003 Ken discovers that Deirdre had sex with Dev Alahan (Jimmi Harkishin) during Christmas 2001, he forgives her and they remain together. But you don't want a happy family in the Street. They played his long-lost son and grandson, respectively. He cannot go through with it, and jilts Martha, returning to Deirdre. After missing Eccles, he sneaks her in, but is caught by Charles who uses him for damages, soon after this incident, Eccles dies of a tumour, Norris informs Ken that he had heard Charles make a comment at Eccles expense, making him go up against Charles for election for the head of the residence committee, Ken and Norris done some digging and discovered Charles’s abuse of power, secretly stealing money from the residents and after exposing this, Ken won he vote, but he handed it over to Norris as he felt unsuited for the environment of Stillwaters, and he and Claudia agreed they both wanted different things, so Ken left, ending up back at No.1 Coronation Street.  Although Ken has occasionally espoused socialist ideology, Roache suggests that he is really more of a "liberal, fair-minded guy [...] always looking to right the wrongs of society", and "a man of integrity who fights for what he thinks is right". ", Ken had a largely antagonistic relationship with his "acid-tongued" mother-in-law Blanche, Deirdre's mother, who has been described as a "thorn in Ken's side". Ken's contempt for his wife, Deirdre, and her lover, Mike Baldwin, was at its most venomous, and I was given free reign [, "Coronation Street, Granada Television, Manchester", "Ken Barlow actor gets Guinness World Records award as longest serving soap star", "Coronation Street's original bad boy Dennis Tanner returns 43 years on", "It's a wonderful life with Ken Barlow, says Ilkeston's William Roache", "William Roache: Me, Ken Barlow and my friend Emma", "Corrie's Ken Barlow takes a stroll down memory lane", "Ken Barlow in the Coronation St files: Angry Young Man who's turned into the bore next door", "Meet the man behind Corrie's Ken Barlow", "Corrie's Best Characters: No 2 – Ken Barlow", "Coronation Street 50 Years: 50 fascinating facts from Weatherfield", "Fans stop me and say 'You're that cow Denise from the Street, "Ken's in trouble again...It must be Christmas", "Interview: Coronation Street's Ken Barlow, aka William Roache", "Peter Barlow a bad dad? Others included Julie Goodyear, Kevin Kennedy and Brian Capron (who played Bet Gilroy, Curly Watts and Richard Hillman respectively).  In the storyline, Ken fathered Denise's son Daniel. He urged him to be true to himself and ignore his father's bigoted views. ", In a Channel 4 televised poll that was broadcast in 2001, Ken Barlow was voted the third most-hated TV character of all time, coming behind Phil Mitchell from EastEnders and Mr Blobby. The storyline captured both media and viewer interest: 20 million people tuned in to watch Ken's discovery of the affair.  The character returned in the winter of 1996, for the last part of her storyline, Black having decided to quit the role. Ken kicks Tracy out when he discovers that Tracy has seen her ex–fiancée Rob, who's in prison for murder. However, news of Tracy and Tony's fling reached her and she was ashamed to come home and face Liz. William Roache has appeared as Ken Barlow in 4639 episodes of Coronation Street from 1960 onwards as well as appearing in the spin-off insert for the 1969 Christmas All Star Comedy Carnival, the Establishing Episode (US promotion) in 1972, the video The Jubilee Years in 1985, the ten internet episodes titled Ken and Deirdre's Bedtime Stories in 2011 and the charity sketch Text Santa in 2012. https://coronationstreet.fandom.com/wiki/Ken_Barlow_-_List_of_appearances?oldid=391020. Relations are once again strained between Ken and Deirdre. , Ken's second marriage in the serial was to a character named Janet Reid (Judith Barker) in 1973; their relationship was short-lived. , According to writer Daran Little, Roache was partly responsible for the name of the street where the soap is set, Coronation Street, which also serves as the programme's title. In the final scenes, a disorientated and dying Mike was found wandering the streets by Ken, and as Ken cradled Mike in his arms, the rivals talked about old times before Mike died, signifying the end of their 20-year feud. He mentions to Audrey that he has chosen his adoptive daughter Tracy as his favourite, for her mother's true love, over his other children, despite her actions, and wanted to leave her in his will everything. " ITV publicity referred to the number of relationships and flings he has had, stating "This could take a while ... Ken has had more girlfriends than most of the Street's male residents put together. He made his debut in the soap's first episode, broadcast on 9 December 1960. Community content is available under.  Roache said, "Ken tried to bring up the kids on his own, but he wasn't doing so good. Slightly improbably, Ken has become the Street's lothario - racking up a total of 21 screen lovers; and more improbably he still lives on the street where he was born, having lived in a total of 8 different addresses in that one street. Mike had unknowingly fathered a son, Adam, during his brief marriage to Susan Barlow; she kept the baby a secret from him. ", The storyline was described as the most volatile and explosive in the programme's history. Roache thought his time was up as long ago as in 1971 when Ken’s first wife Valerie was killed off in 1971 – electrocuted by a faulty hair dryer. I could not believe those words had been written, that they had raked into my past.  When Ken's affair with Martha was exposed, Blanche took her comments too far: she tormented Deirdre for staying with him, which resulted in her being thrown out of the Barlow household and forced to live with Peter. 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