Coronation Street breaks two world records

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Coronation Street has entered the Guinness World Records book as the world’s longest-running TV soap opera.

In addition, actor William Roache, who plays Ken Barlow, has become the world’s longest-running soap actor.

Both the soap and its actor were presented with awards today, as ITV held a street party on the set of Coronation Street to launch the countdown to the programme’s 50th anniversary in December.

Executive Producer Kieran Roberts said: “These days it’s rare for any drama to run for more than a few years. In fact, back in 1960, Coronation Street was originally commissioned for just 13 episodes. Therefore it truly is an extraordinary achievement, that fifty years later, the show which first aired just after The Beatles were formed remains hugely popular in Britain and around the world.”

Roberts praised Roache’s “tremendous skill as a character actor” and his “wonderful professionalism”.

“Everyone connected with Coronation Street is very proud to acknowledge William’s richly-deserved record as the world’s longest serving soap actor, and we are just as proud of achieving the record for being the longest-running soap opera in the world,” he added.

At today’s launch, producer Phil Collinson talked about the forthcoming episodes to mark the show’s 50th anniversary, which he said would involve a tram crash.

He also said a special live episode will include computer-generated images, which he claimed has never been attempted before.