Bill Roache has praised 'Coronation Street' for its alcoholism storyline after seeing friends in similar positions.

Bill Roache

Bill Roache

The cobbles veteran - who has played Ken Barlow since the ITV show's first episode in 1960 - has seen pals in the same kind of situation as his on-screen son Peter Barlow (Chris Gascoyne), who is struggling with alcohol addiction.

He said: "It is a very good storyline. I have known people in this situation.

"I have had friends who have been alcoholics and it is true what they say, you can't do anything until they turn round and say help me.

"Ken is trying and he can’t bear that feeling of impotence of not being able to help his son and just having to sit back and do nothing until Peter accepts he needs and wants their help."

The 88-year-old actor noted how 'Corrie' plays a vital role in shining a light on certain issues, and the impact it can have "on the whole family".

He added: "Yes it is really important to show the devastating effect of alcoholism on the whole family.

"Families can be torn apart by it, alcoholism just as devastating for the people around the alcoholic. They have the distress of trying to help and feeling helpless.

"The storylines and writers are handling it very well and showing how it can cause dissent amongst families, people around the alcoholic may have different views on how to handle the situation and that can cause problems."

And Bill pointed to the long-running plot as a way to get viewers "invested" and in a position to be taught about addiction.

He explained: "'Coronation Street' has family at its heart so to explore a story like this with a family that people have invested in for so long is a great way to educate people about the effects of this sort of addiction.

"Hopefully it might help people realise that they are not alone, that there are a lot of people going through this."