Soap legend William Roache has revealed he is partially deaf, meaning he has to have special treatment on the Coronation Street set.

The veteran actor, who plays Weatherfield stalwart Ken Barlow, is 50 per cent deaf in both ears and must be given visual cues on the cobbles of The Street.

He said: “People don’t know I have got a hearing problem. Deafness is extremely isolating. I live in a cocooned world.

“I could be having a normal conversation and certain things I just won’t hear. I can’t hear watches or alarms, footsteps or the rustling of paper.

“The floor manager has to give me a visual cue, a hand signal, and it is just something that I have learned to live with. I have put up with it all these years.”

Roache, 77, said he often has to walk away from conversations because he cannot hear.

“That is where the isolation can creep in, you tend to not want to be in big groups.

“I walk past people who have said something and I won’t hear it, it gives the appearance of being arrogant which I like to think I am not.

“My children get embarrassed because I repeat things which have just been said.”

The actor revealed he often has to turn down social invitations for fear of not being able to hear.