Bill Roache loves playing comical 'Coronation Street' scenes because they "lift your mood" on set.

Bill Roache

Bill Roache

The 86-year-old actor has portrayed Ken Barlow on the ITV soap since the show's first-ever episode in December 1960 and while he is a big fan of acting out dramatic scenes, he has enjoyed the more light-hearted work of late.

He said: "I love playing the drama and all the big scenes in the Barlows but the comedy has been good to do recently. After a full day it does seep into you and lift your mood, I always found that in theatre, and it's really nice to do.

Rula Lenska recently returned to 'Corrie' as Claudia Colby, and Bill enjoys playing out the "flirtations" between the hairdresser, Ken and fellow tresses queen Audrey Roberts (Sue Nicholls).

He added: "Rula is lovely, I'm so lucky to have some of the people I work with and she's one of them, she's wonderful and so good.

"I love playing the lighter stories with Claudia and Audrey, the flirtations between them, the slight jealousies and the stories from the past.

"Whether there will ever be a long term relationship between them I'm not sure, I think there's much more to play this way."

But Bill has some hard-hitting scenes to come with Ken's daughter-in-law Sinead Tinker (Katie McGlynn) set to go through with a cervical cancer diagnosis, and he is to become her "confidante".

He added: "Sinead doesn't confide in him voluntarily, Ken happens to be at the hospital when she comes out of a room in tears having been given the news.

"She rushes off home but he goes round after her and puts in her in a position where she tells him. He becomes her confidante, even though it wasn't through choice.

"He wants her to tell Daniel, he says 'You must tell him, you can't keep him out of this.' But Sinead says, 'It's my baby, my body, my cancer.' She begs Ken to keep quiet but it's really difficult for him, he wants to do the honourable thing but this is his son's life as well."