Coronation Street’s William Roache has complained about the loss of the ‘community feel’ on the long-running soap, and has admitted that he doesn’t know the names of some of his fellow cast-members.
Veteran actor Roache, who is 86, has played the role of Ken Barlow for 58 years.
He told ITV’s Sunday Brunch: “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.
“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.”
Roache, who holds the Guinness Record for the longest-serving male television star in a continuous role, first joined the show in 1960, and never left, having now racked up three on-screen wives, and 23 girlfriends.
During that time, he has often hit headlines for his unorthodox remarks.
Roache, who follows a religious group called the Pure Love Movement, has previously suggested that victims of sexual abuse suffer as a result of what may have happened in previous lives.
Speaking on TV in New Zealand in 2013, he said: “If you accept that you are pure love, and if you know that you are pure love and therefore live that pure love, these things won’t happen to you.”
When asked if he was suggesting that victims bring abuse on themselves, he added: “No, not quite, but and yet I am, because everything that happens to us has been a result of what we have been in previous lives or whatever.
“If someone has done something wrong, the law should take its course… whether they’re proven guilty or not, we should not be judgmental about anybody, ever.
“We should all be totally forgiving about everything.”
He later apologised for comments, saying: “I would never say that victims of sexual offences are in any way responsible for the abuse they have suffered and I offer my deepest apologies if anything I have said has been misunderstood in this way.”
Roache recently said that he wants to become the first 100-year-old actor appearing in a soap.
“I’ve been in it for 58 years. I’m in the Guinness Book of Records,” he told Lorraine Kelly.
“I’ve got the MBE for services to television. My goal now is to be the first centenarian still working in a serial.
“I think they want me as well. I’m very lucky to have the job. I really appreciate the job and I love it very much.
“The new producer will have his view [on where my storyline goes] and we’ll have a chat.”