A look at some classic cobbles characters.
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By Joe Julians
Congratulations to Coronation Street! The soap is now old enough to get a bus pass as it turns 60, and it’s sure to bring us all sorts of drama on-screen to mark the occasion, with some big storylines looking like they are set to ramp up.
But who from the current Coronation Street cast has been around the longest? We take a look at the residents of the cobbles who have stuck around for the long haul- including two that made their debuts in the 1960s.
Corrie is a place where many seem to stick around and there are a ton of actors who have put the years in. The likes of Jack P. Shepherd and Samia Longchambon (David Platt and Maria Connor) have been around since 2000, while others including the legendary Roy Cropper (David Nielson) first showed up in 1995.
But here are the group who make up the longest-serving continuing actors from the soap.
Episode count: 4,634
Good old Ken has been a staple of Coronation Street ever since it first began back in 1960, debuting in the soaps first episode. And what a life it has been for Ken who has not had the happiest go of things. He has had three wives, all of whom have passed away, and one he was suspected of murder (for a while). His marriage to Deidre is by far his biggest romantic story to date and the bitter rivalry he formed with Mike Baldwin will forever be one of the soaps best feuds.
He just cannot keep away from the cobbles as, despite moving away to live at the Stillwater retirement home in 2019, he soon found himself realising that he belonged on the street and he returned to living at Number One earlier this year. Good decision, Ken, Coronation Street would not be the same without you.
Episode count: 4,369
Now in her 46th year on the ITV soap, Gail is a beloved fan-favourite who still manages to brighten up our screens even after everything she has been through – you try staying positive when you’ve had a teenager like David Platt.
When we say she has been through a lot, we mean it. Gail was part of one of the most iconic storylines the show has seen to date when her marriage to Richard Hillman ended with the news that he was a serial killer. He later tried to kill them all by driving her and the children into a lake in peak Corrie fashion. But she remains a dedicated parent and dealt with the news of Sarah’s young pregnancy as well as can be expected and has even, mostly, been able to get David on the right path, even if she did have to lock him up once to stop him from killing somebody… we’ve all been there, right?
Episode count: 3,815
Rita may have made her first appearance back in 1964, but this was just a guest spot and it would be another eight years before she returned to the soap full time in 1972. A former belly dancer, Rita caused a stir when she first showed up and stayed in Elsie Tanner’s bed – Elsie was not pleased and Rita has been at the heart of a lot of drama in the years since.
Rita was part of one of the shows most memorable moments when she fled from the evil Alan Bradley in Blackpool only for him to meet his end by colliding with a tram. She has a bit of a chequered history with trams, come to mention it, as she was left in serious peril for the 50th anniversary tram disaster… maybe she should stick to the bus going forward. Thankfully though, Rita is still going strong even after a benign brain tumour and we hope there is much more to come for the character in the coming years.
Episode count: 3,420
Good old, feisty, Sally is right in the thick of it currently as she is hell-bent on seeing that Geoff Metcalfe (Ian Bartholemew) pays for his crimes – a matter complicated somewhat by Geoff being her father in law since she married Tim (Joe Duttine).
She first appeared being splashed by Kevin who drove past her through a puddle and the pair went on to become a couple and get married, eventually having two children in Sophie and Rosie. The marriage was not to last though and the couple parted on bad terms (they’re OK now) but she since found love again with Tim. Hopefully, that marriage survives the drama they are going through at the moment as we want some happiness for Sally… after raising rebellious Rosie, we feel she has earned it.
Episode count: 3,190
A Coronation Street icon, Audrey made a splash when she arrived at her daughter’s engagement party despite the two of them not having the best relationship at that stage. She went on to become part of a memorable couple alongside Alf and he helped her get back into her career as a hairdresser by buying her the salon.
Fiercely loyal to her family, Audrey has no issues putting herself in the firing line and was there for Gail through everything she went through with Richard, even knowing what kind of a man he was long before her daughter worked it all out. She is never far from the drama and had a tumultuous relationship with Lewis Archer in recent years that caused issues between her and the rest of the family but she can always be relied on to lend an ear, give you a good haircut, and be ready to gossip about almost anything.
Episode count: 3,149
Kevin made his debut back in 1983 and it was not long before his path crossed with Sally and the pair got together and later married. Unfortunately, Kevin has a reputation as a bit of a womaniser and he has had numerous affairs that led to that marriage falling apart.
Not only did he sleep with his boss, Natalie Horrocks, but he also fathered Molly Dobb’s baby – a secret that emerged when she was killed in the tram crash and caused some much-expected friction between himself, Sally and Molly’s partner Tyrone Hobbs (Alan Halsall). While Sally has since remarried, Kevin is currently in a relationship with Abi Franklin (Sally Carman) and although they remain together, it would be fair to say that things are not smooth sailing there either.
Visit our dedicated Coronation Street page for all the latest news, interviews and spoilers. If you’re looking for more to watch check out our TV guide.
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