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Coronation Street bosses ‘sorry’ after Ken Barlow actor Bill Roache ‘files for bankruptcy’

Coronation Street bosses ‘sorry’ after Ken Barlow actor Bill Roache ‘files for bankruptcy’

Coronation Street bosses have said that they are “really sorry” to hear that cast member Bill Roache has “filed for bankruptcy”.

It is understood Roache, 91, who has played Ken Barlow in the ITV soap since it began in 1960, had a petition against him by HMRC.

A spokesperson for the series told The Independent: “We’re really sorry to hear of Bill’s financial situation. Bill has an ongoing contract with Coronation Street and remains a much-loved member of the cast.”

While HMRC said it does not comment on individual cases, a spokesperson told The Mirror, who first reported the news: “We take a supportive approach to dealing with customers who have tax debts, and do everything we can to help those who engage with us to get out of debt, such as offering instalment plans.”

Roache reportedly earns more than £250,000 per year from his role in the ITV soap, which would make him one of the highest-paid cast members.

ITV said that Roache would not be commenting on his finances directly.

Roache has appeared in the ITV soap since it was first broadcast on 9 December 1960, and has said he wants to keep playing his character Ken until he is 100.

Roache after receiving his OBE in 2022 (Getty Images)
Roache after receiving his OBE in 2022 (Getty Images)

The actor received an OBE from King Charles for services to drama and charity in 2022.

At the time, he said: “I’m delighted to be receiving an OBE as it’s such a wonderful honour. I can’t tell you how proud I am.

"Coronation Street has given me so much in life and I absolutely love the programme and everyone who works on the show.”

In 2014, Roache was found not guilty of sexual abuse after he was accused of two counts of rape and four of sexual assault.

Five women claimed he had allegedly committed the crimes between 1965 and 72.

The actor denied the claims telling police that he was “a very sensitive and caring person”.

He added: “I have always fully respected the rights and wishes of other people. I wouldn’t dream of forcing myself sexually on to any person.”