Star of stage, screen and film Timothy West talks to TV Times magazine about his latest role in Coronation Street

You’re about to join Coronation Street – a show that your wife Prunella Scales starred in in 1961…
“We hadn’t even met then; we met in 1962. She asked me to give her love to anyone who is still in it but I pointed out that, as she started in episode four and I finished on episode 8070, that didn’t leave too many people – just William Roache, who plays Ken Barlow!”

How did starring in the show come about?
“It came as a complete surprise when they asked me to do it. But I thought: ‘If it’s good enough for Sir Ian [McKellen], it’s good enough for me!'”

You made your name in Brass. What memories do you have about being on the show?
“I loved Brass. It was enormously enjoyable to do and I felt very proud of it. We had a cast reunion a couple of years ago and it was a jolly good evening. People talk about bringing it back but it’s better for things to stop when they do. It’s like when they ask John Cleese, why he didn’t do more Fawlty Towers. But he’d said all he wanted to say about boring British hotels in 12 episodes, so why would he write any more?”

You don’t show any signs of slowing down…
“Actors don’t retire. It’s the people who employ us that retire – although sometimes that amounts to the same thing!”

Timothy West can be seen in Coronation Street from Monday February 18 on ITV.