Former Coronation Street star Ken Morley has offered to save the soap by returning as comedy character Reg Holdsworth.

The 68-year-old actor – who left the show 16 years ago – has joined in recent criticism that the show has lost its humour, and believes he can inject some laughter back into the cobbles.

Ken told The Sun: “I am sick and tired of people coming to me and saying how bad it is and asking if I know the viewing figures.

“It’s lost the comedy, it’s lost the viewers, it’s lost plot, but let’s not kick it while it’s down – let’s try to fix it.”

Ken believes the soap can balance drama and humour.

He said: “The Northern humour in the face of adversity is what made Coronation Street great, along with the gritty real-life storylines. That is what the Street was once so good at, making humour out of ordinary situations.”

He also hit out at the recent storyline which saw Audrey Robert’s boyfriend Marc revealed to be a tranvestite.

Ken said: “It’s not traditional Coronation Street. It’s just another far-fetched step away from the real world.”

He added: “The Street has gone too far with gay problems, gay shoes, gay fish and chips. They need to get back to square one and deal with people’s everyday problems in a humorous way.”

But Ken has pledged to save the show. He said: “They need characters like Reg again. A Holdsworth in the Rovers Return would get people tuning in. There is nothing he couldn’t do – a character like that could save Corrie single-handedly by ranting about real issues in the Rovers.

“They really need to get to grips with Corrie or the nation is going to lose a beloved institution.”