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Tuesday, 22 May, 2001, 14:03 GMT 15:03 UK
Queen honours Street stalwart
William Roache with daughter Verity, wife Sara and son William
The Street's longest-serving resident and his MBE
Coronation Street's longest-serving actor William Roache, who plays Ken Barlow, was made an MBE by the Queen on Tuesday.

Roache, 69, who was honoured for services to TV drama, is the sole surviving member of the original cast which began the soap series in December 1960.

This mammoth stint has won him a place in the Guinness Book of Records as the world's longest-serving actor in a television serial.

Roache joins other Street personalities who have been honoured, including actresses Violet Carson, Doris Speed, and Betty Driver, as well as the show's creator, Tony Warren.

William Roache and wife Sara Mottram
William Roache with wife Sara Mottram before receiving his MBE
The series' longevity and influence earned it a Bafta special award this year.

During his record-breaking time on the hit soap, Roache's character has led an incident-packed life.


Ken went to university and over the past four decades has gone through a selection of jobs from lecturer, taxi driver to small-time newspaper magnate.

His love life has been busy, too.

Ken's on and off relationship with former wife Deirdre, played by Anne Kirkbride, has been a long-running feature of the soap.

I don't confuse soap with reality - I don't, others do.

William Roache MBE
He has also had affairs with the Street's Alma Baldwin, played by Amanda Barrie, and Denise Osbourne, played by Denise Black.

Speaking to reporters outside Buckingham Palace after the ceremony, he talked of his sadness at having to rush back to Granada Television's studios in Manchester to film the death scene of Alma Baldwin.

Reality check

"I don't confuse soap with reality - I don't, others do," Roache insisted.

"But actually filming the death scene will be quite harrowing. I think it's the first time we've filmed an actual death scene."

Moments earlier, Roache had been talking to the Queen about her son.

"I told Her Majesty that I'd met her son, the Prince of Wales, who appeared on the 40th anniversary show," he explained.

"I said he played his part very well - its difficult to play yourself."

He added: "Getting an MBE means a tremendous amount. I've been in the army and at public school, so I'm an institutional person - I support the monarchy."

Roache was accompanied to the Palace investiture by second wife Sara Mottram and their two children, Verity, 19, and William, 15.

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See also:

30 Dec 00 | Entertainment
Street star's life as Ken Barlow
08 Dec 00 | Entertainment
40 years on the Street
08 Dec 00 | Entertainment
Why TV drama is going live
08 Dec 00 | Entertainment
Prince stars in live soap
23 Nov 00 | Entertainment
Alma to leave the Street
09 Apr 99 | Entertainment
Street stars remember Alf
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