Coronation Street's Bill Roache was victim to a death hoax on Wednesday, with the 85-year-old actor reported dead by a fake news website. Bill – who is the longest serving actor in the ITV soap – was said to have "died of heart failure" in a alleged report by his son, Linus. It wrote: "Son Linus Roache said in a statement that Bill died of heart failure on the night of Wednesday." Following the story, Coronation Street confirmed that Bill is alive, with the show's official Twitter account replying to serval questions about the star with the answer #FakeNews.
Bill Roache was victim of a death hoax
This isn’t the first time that a Coronation Street actor has been wrongly reported as dead. In January, A US site claimed that Malcolm Hebden had died, who plays Norris Cole in the ITV soap. Malcolm had been hospitalised prior to the report, and the actor's Corrie co-stars quickly clarified that the news wasn’t true. Sally Ann Matthews, who plays Jenny Bradley, spoke out on Twitter, reassuring fans that it was just "click bait".
Earlier in the year, Bill was granted passionate leave from Coronation Street following the tragic death of his daughter Vanya, who died of liver failure at the age of 50. It was the third time Bill has lost a close family member, following the sudden death of his second wife Sarah Mottram in 2009, at the age of 58. The couple's daughter Edwina died from pneumonia at just 18 months, in 1984.
Bill is the longest-serving member of Coronation Street
Bill has been playing Ken Barlow since 1960. Earlier in the year, he said he wants to keep working on Coronation Street for as long as he's physically able. "I never think about [retiring]," Bill told the Radio Times. "I enjoy what I'm doing and I'm lucky in that I'm in a job where I can age. I'm actually falling to bits in front of people's eyes and that's what I'm meant to do. If I were playing James Bond, I'd grow out of the age where I could play the role. But Ken Barlow is me – he's getting older and I'm getting older with him."