Ken Barlow - Appearances in Other Media

Appearances in Other Media

In September 2010, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of Coronation Street, BBC Four aired a drama film entitled The Road to Coronation Street, which depicted Tony Warren's struggle to get his soap opera commissioned, and the filming of its pilot. Ken Barlow appeared in the film and was played by Roache's son, James.

In 2011, ITV filmed a spin-off, web-based series featuring Ken and Deirdre, entitled Ken and Deirdre's Bedtime Stories. Created by Coronation Street writer Jonathan Harvey, the webisodes featured Ken and Deirdre mulling over the events of their day while in bed. Roache said, "Each episode has been carefully crafted and injected with humour, warmth and drama. The content takes Coronation Street into new and exciting territory which, for me personally, is thoroughly exciting to be a part of."

In 2010 a comedy play about Coronation Street was released entitled Corrie!, penned by scriptwriter Jonathan Harvey. Ken Barlow was played by Simon Chadwick in the production. Harvey has suggested that when he researched the play, in the top five storylines for each of the 50 years of Coronation Street, three characters regularly featured—Ken, Deirdre and Gail Platt. Harvey therefore tried to shape the play around their journeys over the years.

In February 2011 Ken was among various Coronation Street characters to have his portrait auctioned for charity in the exhibition 'Behind the Street' at Manchester's Generation Pop Gallery. The black-and-white shots were taken by photographer Rob Evans, and raised £8,600 for charity. The highest bid on a photograph was for a shot of Ken, standing amongst rubble after the Weatherfield tram crash in 2010, a storyline marking the show's 50th anniversary. In 2010 ITV began selling Coronation Street merchandise featuring Ken, including gift wrap and novelty congratulations cards.

A parody song written about the character, entitled "Ken!", was included on Harry Hill's debut album, Funny Times. The track features vocals from Hill and Roache. Ken has been spoofed by Jon Culshaw in The Impressions Show, where he is having a secret affair with Pat Evans from EastEnders, spoofed by Debra Stephenson. Culshaw wanted to include his impression of Ken in the show, saying "We were just looking for an excuse to get him in", so he decided that Ken and Pat would have a "secret romantic tryst at a motorway service station" somewhere between Weatherfield and the EastEnders' setting of Walford.

In May 2012, Trisha Ward's stage musical, Street of Dreams, debuted. The production, which is based on Coronation Street, featured Roache playing his on-screen alias, Ken, in a pre-recorded segment. Roache was one of several actors from the television series to feature in the musical. Others included Julie Goodyear, Kevin Kennedy and Brian Capron (who played Bet Gilroy, Curly Watts and Richard Hillman respectively).

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