By Sherna Noah, PA Senior Entertainment Correspondent
Bill Roache has “recovered well” after testing positive for Covid-19, Coronation Street has said.
The star, 88, who plays Ken Barlow, has taken time off from the ITV soap.
A spokeswoman said: “Following recent reports about his health, William Roache has asked us to clarify that he took time off work after testing positive for Covid.
“He has recovered well and is looking forward to returning to the cobbles as soon as possible.”
Tyrone and Alina!
We can't just have people going around kissing you know! Watch how we filmed Coronation Street's first socially distanced smooch! 😘
Find out more: https://t.co/HrECzSflF4#Corrie @itv @WeAreSTV @alanhalsall @RuxPorojnicu pic.twitter.com/mWq6G1AYCZ
— Coronation Street (@itvcorrie) March 19, 2021
Barlow has been a part of the cast since the soap began in 1960.
He previously told BBC Breakfast why he had stayed so long, despite revealing he had considered leaving when he was in his 40s.
“It’s a happy place to be. I love going to work. You get job satisfaction and you get continuity, which is not usual for actors,” he said.
In 2020, Roache was presented with the Guinness World Record for the longest serving TV soap star for his six decades on the Street.
Roll up, roll up, next week’s previews have arrived: https://t.co/8tQl3EfU2N
The schedule is a little bit different, but don’t worry, we’ll remind again so you don’t miss out on any Corrie!#Corrie @ITV @WeAreSTV pic.twitter.com/6IiOpD7S52
— Coronation Street (@itvcorrie) March 27, 2021
Coronation Street resumed filming in June last year and social distancing rules were put in place on set.
Stars over the age of 70 returned to filming after the younger cast members.
Scripts involving Barlow’s character are currently being written and the soap said it is limiting the time it films with the more elderly cast during the pandemic.