Coronation Street‘s William Roache is to be honoured at a Guinness World Records ceremony in New York next month.

The 78-year-old British actor – who has played Ken Barlow for almost 50 years after appearing in Corrie’s first episode in December 1960 – will officially become the longest-serving actor in a TV soap on November 22.

Bill is set to overtake the current title holder, Don Hastings from American soap As The World Turns, who he will meet at the New York ceremony in November.

Bill first appeared as Ken on December 9, 1960, in Coronation Street’s first ever episode.

Don played Bob Hughes in his CBS show since October 1960 without a break, but As The World Turns ended in September after 13,858 episodes, so Bill is now set to take the title and has already been entered into the Guinness Book of World Records.

Bill told Coronation Street’s 50th anniversary magazine: “Guinness World Records have been in touch and want to fly me over to New York for some sort of ceremony with Don Hastings.”

The soap star insisted he has no plans to retire, and spoke about how being in Corrie had improved his life.

He said: “I always say that, while I can still do it and while they still want me, retiring isn’t an option.

“I’ve met the Queen on numerous occasions, I’ve been to Buckingham Palace, Downing Street and Chequers. I’ve played golf with top professionals and I’ve written two books. Those things have enriched my life.”

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