Actor William Roache and Coronation Street are celebrating after Guinness World Records honoured them with awards for longest-serving soap star in the world and longest-running soap respectively. 

Roache has been playing Weatherfield icon Ken Barlow since the ITV soap began in 1960. Coronation Street will celebrate its 60th anniversary on Wednesday, 9 December.

The record for longest-running soap was previously held by US show As the World Turns. It debuted in 1956 but was cancelled earlier this year.

Commenting on his award, 88-year-old Roache 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."

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."

Coronation Street airs on Virgin Media One and ITV on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

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