Coronation Street and William Roache proudly receive their new Guinness World Records


ITV Press Centre

Coronation Street and William Roache proudly receive their new Guinness World Records

As Coronation Street heads towards celebrating its 60th Anniversary on 9 December, the programme has proudly been presented with an updated certificate from Guinness World Records confirming it remains the Longest running TV soap opera in the world.

Cast member William Roache was also presented with his own unique record, noting he is the Longest serving TV soap star in the world, having debuted as Ken Barlow in Episode 1.

Accepting the award on behalf of cast and crew, past and present, cast members Sally Dynevor and Joe Duttine noted their thanks and that the record-breaking 60 years on air is no mean feat for a show which was originally only supposed to be on for 13 weeks!

Presented with his certificate during a filming break William Roache also noted his thanks saying: “I would like to thank Guinness World Records for this new award. I have been very fortunate to have been in this wonderful programme, Coronation Street, which has carried me into this world record and a lifetime of wonderful memories".

Coronation Street Series Producer Iain MacLeod said: “When Coronation Street, Tony Warren’s groundbreaking, visionary project, launched in 1960, a columnist in a national newspaper predicted it wouldn’t last more than three weeks. Sixty years later, I can safely say the many hundreds of people that have worked tirelessly and dedicatedly on the show have proved that prediction staggeringly wrong. It is an incredible achievement, a testament to Tony’s instincts as a dramatist and proof that the characters and narrative universe he designed are still as relevant today as they were then.

What better evidence of this could there be than Ken Barlow, played by the record-breaking William Roache, who was in episode one, had a starring role in episode 10,000 earlier this year, and will be at the centre of on-screen events for our 60th anniversary episode on December 9th. Bill’s is a singular, spectacular accomplishment and I heartily congratulate him for his peerless professionalism, unstinting commitment to the show and ongoing brilliance as an actor.”

On handing over the certificates Editor in Chief, Guinness World Records, Craig Glenday sent his wishes saying “On behalf of myself and all the team here in London we send you our congratulations on sixty incredibly entertaining years, at sixty years young you are officially amazing!”.


Editors notes:

Record Breaker

It was originally announced in 2009 that As the World Turns (CBS America) would be cancelled by September 2010 officially making the UK's Coronation Street the world's longest running soap opera, and WIlliam the longest-serving soap actor.

The official GWR entries read:

The longest-running soap opera on TV is Coronation Street (ITV, UK), which was first aired on 9 December 1960. The show was devised by Tony Warren and produced by Granada Television and later ITV. In 2020, it celebrates its 60th anniversary.

The longest-serving TV soap star portraying the same character is William Roache (UK), who has played Ken Barlow in ITV’s Coronation Street since the first episode aired on 9 December 1960.


About Guinness World Records

What’s the fastest game bird in Europe? This was the question that inspired the founding of Guinness World Records back in 1955. Starting with a single book published from a room above a gym, GWR has grown to become a global multi-media brand, with offices in London, New York, Miami, Beijing, Tokyo and Dubai. Today, we deliver world-class content, not just through Books, but via TV shows, Social Media and Live Events. Our in-house consultancy works closely with brands and businesses around the world to harness the power of record-breaking and deliver award-winning campaigns and business solutions. Our ultimate purpose is to inspire people - individuals, families, schools, groups, companies, communities and even entire countries – to read about, watch, listen to and participate in record-breaking. To join this record-breaking community – and find out the answer to that original question – visit

November 16, 2020 4:00am ET by ITV Press Centre  

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