Financial turmoil for Coronation Street’s Bill Roache

Corrie star's financial woes

Actor Bill Roache. Credit: WilliamRoacheMBE/

Despite a huge salary one of Britain’s best-loved soap stars has run into money troubles and is allegedly facing bankruptcy.

Bill Roache, known for his long-standing role as Ken Barlow in ITV’s Coronation Street reportedly faces potential bankruptcy. Despite an annual income of around £250,000, Roache’s financial woes have been made public.

The tax troubles for Roache emerged on Tuesday, January 23, when HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) filed a petition against him over unpaid taxes. This development is surprising given Roache’s status as one of Coronation Street’s highest earners.

HMRC’s stance on tax arrears

‘We take a supportive approach to dealing with customers who have tax debts, and do everything we can to help those who engage with us to get out of debt, such as offering instalment plans. We only petition for bankruptcy as a last resort,’ a spokesperson for HMRC shared with the Mirror.

The 91-year-old actor, despite his substantial earnings, has not made a public statement regarding his financial predicament.

However, ITV’s Coronation Street has expressed its solidarity with Roache. ‘We’re really sorry to hear of Bill’s financial situation. Bill has an ongoing contract with Coronation Street and remains a much-loved member of the cast,’ a spokesperson for the soap commented.

Roache’s continuing career and recognition

Despite his current challenges, Roache’s career continues to thrive. He signed on for a 63rd year on the soap in December 2023, ensuring his income stream for at least another year.

His portrayal of Ken Barlow since 1960 has earned him a Guinness World Record for the longest-serving TV actor in a continuous role. In 2022, his contributions to drama and charity were honoured by King Charles with an OBE.

Roache is reportedly set to defend himself in the legal proceedings regarding his tax arrears. Details of the debt, however, remain undisclosed. Reports indicate that Roache will be handling his own defence in this matter.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.