William Roache makes return to the cobbles

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Ilkeston’s Bill Roache will make his return to Coronation Street tonight.

The 82-year-old was cleared earlier this year on seven counts of sex abuse dating back to the 1960s and was unable to make a return to the ITV soap as Ken Barlow until now.

Fans of the show will see him return from Canada to deal with the consequences of his son Peter being accused of murder. During his time away his character has become a vegetarian and a poet.

Ken steps in determined to help Peter prove his innocence.

He said: “As soon as he asks Peter outright and Peter tells him he didn’t kill Tina, Ken believes him.

“He looks him in the eye and totally believes what he says. It isn’t just the blind faith of a father’s love, he genuinely knows Peter is not the murderer.

“What he finds harder to deal with is that he is the only one who seems to believe Peter. He soon realises that everyone else, Deirdre included, think that there is a chance that Peter did it, even if they don’t want to believe it.”

Bill Roach grew up in Ilkeston where he attended a Steiner school set up by his grandfather in the garden of the family home.

He is Coronation Street’s longest-serving cast member having portrayed Ken Barlow since 1960.

He is listed in the he longest serving living television actor in a continuous role.

The court case ended in February.