Coronation Street landed a place in the record books as it prepared to mark its 50th birthday.

The ITV soap has been recognised as the world’s longest-running soap, while William Roache, who has played Ken Barlow since the first episode, is now the world’s longest-serving soap actor.

The popular drama has headed into the record books following the cancellation of US series As The World Turns, which previously led the field.

William collected an award for the accolade at a special street party on the cobbles at Granada TV’s studios on Friday, where guests and cast members were celebrating the show’s half-century.

The 78-year-old actor said: “An award like this is something that creeps up behind you while you are getting on with the job – that job is Coronation Street. I’m lucky to be in it.”

Roache, who was given a standing ovation, added: “I will hold this on behalf of Team Coronation Street.”

The show actually celebrates its birthday on December 9, but programme bosses were preparing for the the anniversary with Friday’s party as well as giving further details of how the occasion will be marked on screen. The street is to be rocked by death and disaster with a tram accident.

And producer Phil Collinson said a special live episode could include computer-generated images, which has never been attempted before.

He added that viewers can expect to see “a tram crash, a death, a wedding, another death, a birth, a murder, a fire and another death” as part of the milestone celebrations.

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