Bill Roache, also known as William Roache, the Coronation Street veteran who has played Ken Barlow on the show for more than half a century, says he has slept with near 1,000 women. Roache claims to have bedded a string of women including the soap legend Pat Phoenix during his long and illustrious career, according to the Press Association.
The 79-year-old's character - the straight laced Ken Barlow - is a retired teacher who is often found getting involved with his community, or lending a helping hand to his neighbours. However, it seems Roache the actor may have lived a rather more eye-opening lifestyle, telling Piers Morgan on his Life Stories show, "There were plenty of girls around. I shouldn't have done it. I didn't have any control over my own sex drive. I didn't have the strength to control it". After Roache claimed to have slept with "more than 100 women", the presenter pushed if the number was actually closer to 1,000, to which the actor replied, "Well, I'm not denying it". The Derbyshire born actor, who appeared in the first episode of Coronation Street in 1960, said his infidelity caused the breakdown of his first marriage and left him "regretting and hurting". As for his fling with Pat Phoenix - who played battle-axe Elsie Tanner - Roache said it was merely a "one-off", adding, "It was just something that happened one night when we were together".
The actor's second wife Sara died suddenly in 2009 at their home in Wilmslow, Cheshire at the age of 58 - they had been married since 1978.