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Ken Barlow

Ken Barlow is a character in the long-running British soap opera, Coronation Street. He is the only surviving character from the first episode of the series, back in 1960.

William Roache, the actor who has played Barlow throughout, took exception to the public image of the character as "boring", and attempted to redress the balance by persuading the scriptwriters to make him have an affair and leave his wife, Deirdre. Deirdre was in fact the character's third wife, the first two having respectively been electrocuted and committed suicide.

The most-watched episode of the soap was when Ken discovered Deirdre was having an affair with his great rival, Mike Baldwin, and was planning to leave him. Although she stayed with him on that occasion, he eventually left her for a secretary, but they have been reconciled on several occasions and are currently living together.

Ken's on-screen activities have done little to alter the popular image of the character. In the UK, "Ken Barlow" remains a synonym for a boring man.

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