Coronation Street fans were left with a cliffhanger at the end of yesterday’s episode, when Ken Barlow collapsed in the hallway.1billIt has now been revealed that Ken has suffered a stroke – and the road to recovery will not be an easy one. Producer Kate Oates told veteran star Bill Roache that while the stroke was severe, Ken was not being killed off.

In fact, Ken’s stroke is part of a plot which intends to bring the Barlow family back to the fore. “When I found out about the storyline, I didn’t feel paranoid about my health, but I did feel paranoid about my job,” said Bill. “The first thing I asked was ‘do I get better?’.”

Soap fans watched in horror as Ken collapsed at home just as he was leaving to take a dream trip to Europe. His stroke came after a row with wayward son Peter, who has returned, penniless and harbouring a secret.

Peter – played by Chris Gascoyne – took the opportunity to tell Ken what a terrible father he’d been over the years, possibly triggering the catastrophic event that followed.  The coming weeks will see Ken’s family rush to his bedside, willing him to get better, but there’s a long road ahead.