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Coronation Street legend Bill Roache leaves soap for months after battling Covid

Bill Roache Coronation Street actor
PRESTON, LANCASHIRE - JANUARY 21: Actor William Roache arrives at Preston Crown Court for the sixth day of his trial over historical sexual offence allegations on January 21, 2014 in Preston, Lancashire. The Coronation Street star, who plays the character Ken Barlow on the ITV soap, is charged with two counts of rape involving a 15-year-old girl. The offences allegedly took place between April and July 1967. Roache is also charged with five counts of indecent assault against four girls between the ages of 11 or 12 and 16. Three of the offences allegedly took place in 1965 and two in 1968. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images) (Image credit: Getty Images)

Bill Roache, who plays the legendary Ken Barlow, has had to bow out of filming following a battle with Covid...

Coronation Street star Bill Roache has reportedly been temporarily written out of the ITV soap as the legendary Ken Barlow.

According to The Sun Bill, who holds the world record for being the longest continuous actor in a drama, has asked bosses for time off after contracting Covid-19.

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Bill has taken a break from filming Coronation Street (Picture: ITV)

Following reports that Bill had taken a break from the soap, a Coronation Street spokesperson has confirmed the reason behind his absence from filming...

"Following recent reports about his health, William Roache has asked us to clarify that he took time off work after testing positive for Covid.

"He has recovered well and is looking forward to returning to the cobbles as soon as possible."

Taking a break to recover 

A source allegedly told the paper that Bill was reluctant to take time off from filming...

"For Bill to take time off is extremely unusual.

"He loves work and he's as passionate about being on Coronation Street as ever, but he realised he had to listen to his own body.

"The reason he's been able to work for so long and so passionately is he's always looked after himself, and he still does.

"He'll be back as soon as it makes sense."

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Summer return 

But there is good news for Coronation Street fans because Bill plans to return to his role later this year...

Bill Roache as Ken Barlow Coronation Street

Bill has played Weatherfield's Ken Barlow since 1960 (Picture: Getty) (Image credit: Getty Images)

"They already have ideas how they would like to bring Ken back later this summer," the Sun's source continued.

"Everyone will be pleased to see him, along with the rest of the cast back together in the same place."

Cast reduction 

Bill's break coincides with many other actors taking a break from filming due to the current Covid situation.

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Bill's character Ken is currently trying to help his alcoholic son, Peter (Picture: ITV)

Many of the older cast members have taken a break or reduced their filming schedules hugely including Barbara Knox (Rita), Sue Nicholls (Audrey) and David Neilson (Roy).

It has been reported that Coronation Street writers had to quickly come up with an exit storyline for Ken that would keep him away from the soap for some time.

Viewers will know that Ken is currently supporting his son, Peter, as he battles a life-threatening alcohol addiction.

Coronation Street airs on Mondays and Wednesdays 7.30pm and 8.30pm with an hour long episode at 7.30 on Fridays on ITV - see our TV Guide for full listings.