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William Roache: I made a decision to start getting younger, not older

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Coronation Street's William Roache has said he believes the human body was designed to go on forever and that he feels he is getting younger.

The 85-year-old actor - who has played Ken Barlow on the cobbles since 1960 - told the Radio Times that a few years ago he "made the decision that I was going to start getting younger".

He said: "It's a belief system, really.

"A lot of people think that if they've got an ache or pain in their joints, then it must be age. But it's nothing to do with age.

"Age has no ailments attached to it whatsoever - all your cells renew themselves equally all the time.

"If you've got an ailment, it's probably because you've been eating the wrong stuff or living the wrong sort of life.

"The body was actually designed to go on forever."

Roache said learning lines for the ITV soap helps to keep him mentally active, and that he cannot see himself retiring.

"You see people who retire after having very active, mental jobs and there's a sense of them slowing down," he said.

"We have to keep up to the mark with everybody else, which I love."

He went on: "I enjoy what I'm doing and I'm lucky in that I'm in a job where I can age.

"I'm actually falling to bits in front of people's eyes and that's what I'm meant to do!

"If I were playing James Bond, I'd grow out of the age where I could play the role. But Ken Barlow is me - he's getting older and I'm getting older with him."

This week's Radio Times is out on Tuesday.