Coronation Street's Bill Roache Says He Thinks Show Has Lost 'Community' Feel

‘Coronation Street’ veteran Bill Roache has admitted he feels the soap has lost its sense of “community” in recent years.

Bill - who has played Ken Barlow since the show’s inception in 1960 - has said that as the cast has changed and grown over the years, he now knows only a few of his co-stars personally, and doesn’t think there’s as much of a family spirit on set.

<strong>Bill Roache</strong> (Photo: PA Wire/PA Images)
Bill Roache (Photo: PA Wire/PA Images)

Speaking on ‘Sunday Brunch’, Bill explained: “When we first started there were only 15 cast members and we were all in every episode. It was a community. Now there are some [cast members] who I hardly know their names.”

He added: “You go in and work with your family and do your scenes and go home. Some of the others, you see them in the green room for a cup of tea and then you don’t see them for weeks.”

The longest-serving ‘Corrie’ actor’s comments echo similar remarks made by fellow soap star Sue Nicholls, best known for her portrayal of Audrey Roberts.

Sue Nicholls (Photo: Dave Thompson - PA Images via Getty Images)
Sue Nicholls (Photo: Dave Thompson - PA Images via Getty Images)

In an interview with the Daily Star last year, Sue joked: “I seem to know the people at my local Sainsbury’s more than I know half of the new ‘Coronation Street’ cast. What can I say?”

Reminiscing, she added: “Ah, the days of Pat Phoenix. Pat was so easy to work with. And there was Jean Alexander and Betty Driver. It was a lovely time.”

During his interview on ‘Sunday Brunch’, Bill also said that he never considers stepping down from ‘Corrie’, insisting: “It’s a great show and I love it and I’m very fortunate to be in it – and I’m proud to be in it.”

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Bill Roache

<strong>Played: Ken Barlow (1960 - Present, 'Coronation Street')</strong><br /><br />William, or Bill as he's known, was one of the original stars in Tony Warren's series. In the decades since, we've seen his character marry four different women, though Deirdre Barlow will always be his soulmate.
Played: Ken Barlow (1960 - Present, 'Coronation Street')

William, or Bill as he's known, was one of the original stars in Tony Warren's series. In the decades since, we've seen his character marry four different women, though Deirdre Barlow will always be his soulmate.

Adam Woodyatt

<strong>Played: Ian Beale (1985 - Present, 'EastEnders') </strong><br /><br />Not only is Ian the longest-serving 'EastEnders' character, but he's also the most married, following five ceremonies - though he did marry Jane twice.
Played: Ian Beale (1985 - Present, 'EastEnders') 

Not only is Ian the longest-serving 'EastEnders' character, but he's also the most married, following five ceremonies - though he did marry Jane twice.

Chrisopher Chittell

<strong>Played: Eric Pollard (1986 - Present, 'Emmerdale')</strong><br /><br />Pollard has been at the centre of many big storylines, but none were more touching than his - often hilarious -relationship with Val. 
Played: Eric Pollard (1986 - Present, 'Emmerdale')

Pollard has been at the centre of many big storylines, but none were more touching than his - often hilarious -relationship with Val. 

Eileen Derbyshire

<strong>Played: Emily Bishop (1960 - Present, 'Coronation Street')</strong><br /><br />Emily is the longest-standing female character in 'Corrie', and though she's taken a handful of breaks from the soap, actress Eileen has always returned to t'cobbles.
Played: Emily Bishop (1960 - Present, 'Coronation Street')

Emily is the longest-standing female character in 'Corrie', and though she's taken a handful of breaks from the soap, actress Eileen has always returned to t'cobbles.

Pam St Clement

<strong>Played: Pat Butcher (1986 - 2012, 2016, 'EastEnders')</strong><br /><br />We thought we'd seen the last of Pat in 2012, when she was killed off in emotional scenes. Little did we know, she'd be back for Peggy Mitchell's farewell.
Played: Pat Butcher (1986 - 2012, 2016, 'EastEnders')

We thought we'd seen the last of Pat in 2012, when she was killed off in emotional scenes. Little did we know, she'd be back for Peggy Mitchell's farewell.

Barbara Knox

<strong>Played: Rita Tanner (1964, 1972 - Present, 'Coronation Street') </strong><br /><br />After making a brief appearance in 1964, Barbara returned to the soap just under a decade later.
Played: Rita Tanner (1964, 1972 - Present, 'Coronation Street') 

After making a brief appearance in 1964, Barbara returned to the soap just under a decade later.

Richard Thorp

<strong>Played: Alan Turner (1982 - 2013, 'Emmerdale')</strong><br /><br />Richard made his last appearance in the soap in July 2013, and his character was killed off, off-screen, three months later. Sadly, the actor then died in late October.
Played: Alan Turner (1982 - 2013, 'Emmerdale')

Richard made his last appearance in the soap in July 2013, and his character was killed off, off-screen, three months later. Sadly, the actor then died in late October.

Betty Driver

<strong>Played: Betty Williams (1969 - 2011, 'Coronation Street')</strong><br /><br />Hotpot, anyone? 
Played: Betty Williams (1969 - 2011, 'Coronation Street')

Hotpot, anyone? 

Wendy Richard

<strong>Played: Pauline Fowler (1985 - 2006, 'EastEnders')</strong><br /><br />The formidable Pauline was one of Walford's most-loved matriarchs. 
Played: Pauline Fowler (1985 - 2006, 'EastEnders')

The formidable Pauline was one of Walford's most-loved matriarchs. 

Stan Richards

<strong>Played: Seth Armstrong (1978 - 2003, 2004, 'Emmerdale')</strong><br /><br />The role was at first a bit part but due to Stan's popularity, he stayed in the Dales. And it simply wouldn't have been the same without him.
Played: Seth Armstrong (1978 - 2003, 2004, 'Emmerdale')

The role was at first a bit part but due to Stan's popularity, he stayed in the Dales. And it simply wouldn't have been the same without him.

Steve McFadden

<strong>Played: Phil Mitchell (1990 - 2003, 2005 - Present)</strong><br /><br />Steve was honoured for his work on the soap at the 2016 British Soap Awards, where he received the Outstanding Achievement Award.
Played: Phil Mitchell (1990 - 2003, 2005 - Present)

Steve was honoured for his work on the soap at the 2016 British Soap Awards, where he received the Outstanding Achievement Award.

Sheila Mercier

<strong>Played: Annie Sugden (1972 - 1994, 1995, 1996, 2009, 'Emmerdale')</strong><br /><br />What would Annie make of what her grandsons Robert and Andy are getting up to at the moment?
Played: Annie Sugden (1972 - 1994, 1995, 1996, 2009, 'Emmerdale')

What would Annie make of what her grandsons Robert and Andy are getting up to at the moment?

Helen Worth

<strong>Played: Gail Platt (1974, 1975 - Present, 'Coronation Street')</strong><br /><br />Over the years, Gail has had to deal with many unexpected moments, and Tina O'Brien's (pictured) teen pregnancy was just one of many that hit headlines.
Played: Gail Platt (1974, 1975 - Present, 'Coronation Street')

Over the years, Gail has had to deal with many unexpected moments, and Tina O'Brien's (pictured) teen pregnancy was just one of many that hit headlines.

Clive Horby

<strong>Played: Jack Sugden (1980 - 2008, 'Emmerdale')</strong><br /><br />Between 1972 and 1976, the role was played by actor Andrew Burt, but Clive made it his own when he arrived in the Dales.
Played: Jack Sugden (1980 - 2008, 'Emmerdale')

Between 1972 and 1976, the role was played by actor Andrew Burt, but Clive made it his own when he arrived in the Dales.

June Brown

<strong>Played: Dot Cotton (1985 - 1993, 1997 - 2012, 2013 - Present) </strong><br /><br />Words cannot even express how grateful we are to have Dot in the Square. 
Played: Dot Cotton (1985 - 1993, 1997 - 2012, 2013 - Present) 

Words cannot even express how grateful we are to have Dot in the Square. 

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