William Roache has been presented with the Guinness World Record for the longest serving TV soap star in the world for his six decades in Coronation Street.
The actor, 88, debuted as Ken Barlow in the first episode of the ITV soap, which will celebrate its 60th anniversary on December 9, and remains the longest running TV soap opera in the world.
The show has been given an updated certificate marking the achievement, which was accepted on behalf of the cast and crew, past and present, by Sally Dynevor (Sally Metcalfe) and Joe Duttine (Tim Metcalfe). They noted the show was only originally supposed to be on for 13 weeks.
Roache, who was presented with his certificate during a break in filming, said: “I would like to thank Guinness World Records for this new award.
“I have been very fortunate to have been in this wonderful programme, Coronation Street, which has carried me into this world record and a lifetime of wonderful memories.”
Coronation Street and Roache took the records after US soap As The World Turns was cancelled in 2010, having debuted in 1956.
Series producer Iain MacLeod said: “When Coronation Street, Tony Warren’s groundbreaking, visionary project, launched in 1960, a columnist in a national newspaper predicted it wouldn’t last more than three weeks.
“Sixty years later, I can safely say the many hundreds of people that have worked tirelessly and dedicatedly on the show have proved that prediction staggeringly wrong.
“It is an incredible achievement, a testament to Tony’s instincts as a dramatist and proof that the characters and narrative universe he designed are still as relevant today as they were then.
“What better evidence of this could there be than Ken Barlow, played by the record-breaking William Roache, who was in episode one, had a starring role in episode 10,000 earlier this year, and will be at the centre of on-screen events for our 60th anniversary episode on December 9th.
“Bill’s is a singular, spectacular accomplishment and I heartily congratulate him for his peerless professionalism, unstinting commitment to the show and ongoing brilliance as an actor.”