William Roache, the actor who plays Ken Barlow in Coronation Street believes that some of the soap's  'community' feel has faded in recent years.

Yet the actor admits that he enjoys his role more than ever. The soap has changed in a big way since he signed up in 1960, he observes. "It was eleven weeks at first – we didn't think it would go on longer," he told Sunday Brunch. "When you're ongoing like that there will always be good and bad.

"When we first started there were only fifteen 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 has no retirement plans in sight, in fact he quipped that he would like to be the first 100-year-old actor to feature on a TV soap.

The veteran actor declared that he has never really contemplated departing the popular soap.

"I thought if ever I'm going to get out now's the time," he recalls thinking after 20 years playing Ken Barlow.

On mature reflection, he decided to stay in Weatherfield.  "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."

Ken and that stroke in 2016 ..