Played by: William Roache
First Appeared: 1960 (UK) Was in the first episode, and is the only original cast member
Date of Birth: 9 October 1939
Occupation: Retired, former teacher and journalist. Helps out at Roy's Rolls.
Relations: Son of Frank and Ida Barlow. Widower of Valerie Tatlock and Janet Reid. Husband of Deirdre Barlow. Father of twins Peter and Susan (with Val). Adopted Deirdre's daughter Tracey and had a son, Daniel to Denise Osborne. Grandfather of Amy Barlow, Simon Barlow and Adam Barlow. Son-in-law of Blanche Hunt.
Love: Married four times to three women (he married Deirdre twice) Proposed to but was turned down by Yvonne Chapel. Has had relationships with Wendy Crozier, Alma Sedgewick, Maggie Redman and Denise Osbourne.
Storylines: Sold his scooter to pay for his first wedding; to Val Tatlock in 1962 (UK). He was widowed when she was electrocuted by a hairdryer. Their children Peter and Susan were sent to live in with relatives in Glasgow. Ken moved in with Valerie's uncle Albert Tatlock at No. 1 to help care for him.
When visiting his children Ken met and married Janet Reid. The marriage was short lived. She returned to try to win Ken back, but he refused and she committed suicide. Ken later contemplated suicide himself, but was talked out of it by Bet Gilroy.
Ken married Deirdre Langton after her break up with husband Ray. A love triangle developed between Ken, Deirdre and Ken's rival Mike Baldwin, with Deirdre choosing to return to Ken. The marriage broke down after several years, following an affair with his secretary Wendy Crozier. He and Deirdre were eventually reunited, and remarried.
Ken's rivalry with Mike intensified when Mike married Ken's daughter Susan. Both men were involved with Alma Sedgewick and Maggie Redman.
Mike and Ken patched up their differences and worked together to clear Deirdre when she was jailed after her involvement with conman Jon Lindsay. Suffering from Alzheimer's Mike was to die in the arms of his old rival.
He helped Tyrone to learn to read, but Ken resigned from teaching and pleaded guilty to assault after hitting a pupil who goaded him.
His (re)marriage to Deirdre was strained by the death of Charlie Stubbs and Tracy's trial for his murder, with Ken relunctant to spend the family savings on her defence. During this time Ken sought out his son Daniel and former flame Denise Osborne, but reconciled with Deirdre.
Ken has lived his whole life on Coronation Street but has always held intellectual ambitions, having studied at University he failed in his ambition to become an author.