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HomeTv & ShowCorrie's Bill Roache celebrates his 90th birthday at the RHS Garden Centre Bridgewater...

Corrie's Bill Roache celebrates his 90th birthday at the RHS Garden Centre Bridgewater in Manchester


Bill Roache cut a dapper figure as he celebrated his 90th birthday with a trip to the RHS Garden Centre Bridgewater in Manchester on Monday.  

The Coronation Street star, who is best known for playing Ken Barlow in the ITV soap since it was first broadcast in December 1960, seemed in high spirits for the outing. 

The actor looked smart as he sported a blue shirt which he tucked into a pair of navy trousers. 

Smart: Bill Roache cut a dapper figure in a blue shirt as he celebrated his 90th birthday RHS Garden Centre Bridgewater in Manchester on Monday

Smart: Bill Roache cut a dapper figure in a blue shirt as he celebrated his 90th birthday RHS Garden Centre Bridgewater in Manchester on Monday

Bill wrapped up warm for the occasion in a navy padded jacket and wore a pair of red glasses for the day out.

Last week, the soap legend admitted that he fancied The Queen when he first met her aged 21.

Bill made the revelation in the new hour long ITV documentary Happy Birthday Bill on Tuesday which celebrated his landmark birthday.

Dapper: The Coronation Street star, who is best known for playing Ken Barlow in the ITV soap since it was first broadcast in December 1960, seemed in high spirits for the outing

Dapper: The Coronation Street star, who is best known for playing Ken Barlow in the ITV soap since it was first broadcast in December 1960, seemed in high spirits for the outing

Birthday trip: The actor looked smart as he sported a blue shirt which he tucked into a pair of navy trousers

Keeping warm: The star kept warm in a large jacket as he celebrated his 90th birthday

Birthday trip: The actor looked smart as he sported a blue shirt which he tucked into a pair of navy trousers

Throwback: Bill has been a star on Corrie since its very first episode over 60 years ago, but recent insisted he has no plans to retire anytime soon (pictured in 1989)

Throwback: Bill has been a star on Corrie since its very first episode over 60 years ago, but recent insisted he has no plans to retire anytime soon (pictured in 1989)

And looking back on momentous times in his life, the Ken Barlow actor told how he found Her Majesty, 95, ‘very attractive’ when he first laid eyes on her back in 1953.

Recalling how he’s always had a fondness for the monarch since their very first meeting, Bill said: ‘I’ve met the Queen eight times.

‘I first met her when I was 21 and I was in the Army and we had the day with her which was very nice.

Day out: The actor celebrated his landmark birthday at the RHS Garden Centre Bridgewater in Greater Manchester

Day out: The actor celebrated his landmark birthday at the RHS Garden Centre Bridgewater in Greater Manchester

Back to the beginning: Bill recently looked back at his career in a new documentary to celebrate his birthday

Back to the beginning: Bill recently looked back at his career in a new documentary to celebrate his birthday

‘I really fancied her! I don’t know if that’s heresy but she was very attractive.’

The TV special looked back at the life and times of the star, with Bill reflecting on his schooldays growing up in Colwyn Bay, North Wales.

While he also touched on his time in the army, having joined the Royal Welch Fusiliers in 1953 before being stationed in Kingston, Jamaica. 

Soft spot: Bill has admitted that he fancied The Queen when he first met her aged 21 (pictured in 2002)

Soft spot: Bill has admitted that he fancied The Queen when he first met her aged 21 (pictured in 2002)

It was there that he first met The Queen, who was on a royal visit to the Commonwealth Caribbean country.

In the film, Bill showed off a picture of an army regiment’s party, of which Her Majesty attended.

Bill exclaimed: ‘This is the party with the Queen! I remember being there because she was fascinated by the regimental goat.

Memories: The legend made the revelation in new ITV documentary Happy Birthday Bill on Tuesday which celebrates his landmark 90th birthday

Memories: The legend made the revelation in new ITV documentary Happy Birthday Bill on Tuesday which celebrates his landmark 90th birthday

‘The goat ate cigarettes, two cigarettes a day, and she was feeding him.’

Meanwhile Bill was reunited with his first on-screen wife Anne Reid – more than 50 years after she was killed off. 

Scenes in the documentary saw Bill stating it was a ‘lovely moment’ to see the actress again after she was killed off by a faulty hairdryer in 1971.

Affection: 'I really fancied her! I don’t know if that’s heresy but she was very attractive' [pictured Bill and his co-stars meeting The Queen on the Coronation Street set last year]

Affection: ‘I really fancied her! I don’t know if that’s heresy but she was very attractive’ [pictured Bill and his co-stars meeting The Queen on the Coronation Street set last year]

Bill, who remains Corrie’s only original star from its inception in 1960, also discovered that Anne, who played his first wife Valerie, had a secret crush on him during her eight-year stint on the soap.

Ken’s first wife Valerie was mother to his twins Peter and Susan, but she was tragically killed after electrocuting herself on a faulty hairdryer, in scenes watched by nearly 19 million viewers.

Discussing her time on the soap, Anne said: ‘It was my decision to leave and I was desperate, really desperate, to go. Because I knew I was good at comedy and there was no way that Valerie Barlow was ever going to be funny.’ 

Back together! Meanwhile Bill was reunited with his first on-screen wife Anne Reid - more than 50 years after she was killed off

Back together! Meanwhile Bill was reunited with his first on-screen wife Anne Reid – more than 50 years after she was killed off

Elsewhere, Bill revealed he has ‘no intention of retiring’ and will continue to play much-loved character Ken Barlow.

The actor is set to continue playing Ken as he believes ‘if you want to do something, it shouldn’t matter what age you are’. 

Speaking on people’s reaction to him working at the age of 89, he said: ‘People will say when are you retiring? Are you going to take a break? But then what happens? 

‘Whilst I can do it, and whilst they will have me, I have no intention of retiring. I am so fortunate to work for an organisation that is happy to have me.’

Blast from the past: The Ken Barlow actor said it was a 'lovely moment' to see the actress again after she was killed off by a faulty hairdryer in 1971

Blast from the past: The Ken Barlow actor said it was a ‘lovely moment’ to see the actress again after she was killed off by a faulty hairdryer in 1971

He is even listed in the Guinness World Records as the longest-serving television star in a continuous role. 

And in December last year it was announced that the actor had been made an OBE for his services to drama and charity. 

Bill proved he’s still got it as he showed off his youthful appearance in photos to mark his 90th birthday today.

Iconic: Anne starred as Ken's first wife on Coronation Street for eight years until she was killed off in 1971 after being electrocuted by a hairdryer (pictured in 1969)

Iconic: Anne starred as Ken’s first wife on Coronation Street for eight years until she was killed off in 1971 after being electrocuted by a hairdryer (pictured in 1969)

The star was photographed by his son Will at the family home in Cheshire to celebrate the milestone.

One bespectacled, smiling shot sees him looking years younger than his age, in a white shirt and navy jumper and boasting a full head of hair. 

He said: ‘Will studied photography when he was younger so he has a lot of technical knowledge.’

Going strong: Elsewhere, Bill revealed he has 'no intention of retiring' and will continue to play much-loved character Ken Barlow

Going strong: Elsewhere, Bill revealed he has ‘no intention of retiring’ and will continue to play much-loved character Ken Barlow

The snaps were taken for the re-release of an updated version of his book Life And Soul – his tips for a happy, healthy life.

Bill was married to actress Anna Cropper, the mother of his son Linus and late daughter Vanya, and admitted to being unfaithful. 

In 1978 he married Sara McEwan Mottram with whom he had son Will and daughter Verity. A second daughter, Edwina, died at 18 months old. 

Bill dated weather presenter Emma Jesson from 2010 to 2012. 

Loyal: The actor has played Ken on the ITV soap since it aired in 1960 and is set to continue as he believes 'if you want to do something, it shouldn't matter what age you are'

Loyal: The actor has played Ken on the ITV soap since it aired in 1960 and is set to continue as he believes ‘if you want to do something, it shouldn’t matter what age you are’

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