Veteran Corrie star Bill Roache has been off-screen after falling ill with Covid – but has now “recovered well”.
The 88-year-old who plays Ken Barlow, tested positive for the disease and was written out of the soap as he took time to get better.
But the star has got better and is set to return to the Cobbles “as soon as possible”.
A Corrie spokeswoman said: “Following recent reports about his health, William Roache has asked us to clarify that he took time off work after testing positive for Covid. He has recovered well and is looking forward to returning to the cobbles as soon as possible.”
A source said that storylines involving Ken were “currently being written” and that they were also “currently limiting the time we are filming with the more elderly cast during the pandemic.”
Other older stars include Barbara Knox, 86, who plays Rita, Sue Nicholls, 77, who plays Audrey, and David Neilson, 72, who plays Roy.
Bill — who last appeared in Corrie on March 10 — has told bosses he is raring to get back on screen.
A source added: “He is doing really well and is looking forward to returning. Bill is such a well loved member of the team and everyone is delighted he has recovered so well.
“We can’t wait to have him back.”
Bill recently insisted that retirement is off the cards.
He said: “While I can do it and they want me, I will be there.
“Retirement is not on the radar at all, I have no plans for that.
“I don’t even like to think about how they’d write Ken out if I did leave, because hopefully that is never going to happen.”
Bill has been a regular face on the cobbles since 1960 – when he starred in the soap’s first ever episode.
He currently holds the title for longest stint in any TV drama.