Bill Roache has “recovered well” after testing positive for Covid-19, Coronation Street has said.
The 88-year-old star who plays Ken Barlow, has taken time off from the ITV soap.
A 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.”
Roache has been a part of the cast since the show began in 1960.
He previously told BBC Breakfast why he had stayed so long, despite revealing he had considered leaving when he was in his 40s.
“It’s a happy place to be. I love going to work. You get job satisfaction and you get continuity, which is not usual for actors,” he said.
In 2020, Roache was presented with the Guinness World Record for the longest serving TV soap star for his six decades on the Street.
Coronation Street has remained on air throughout the lockdown period, with the ITV ratings winner returning to socially distanced filming in May, much earlier than rivals such as the BBC’s EastEnders. It introduced measures such as having two metre-long sticks to keep actors apart in order to allow filming to continue.
Stars over the age of 70 returned to filming after the younger cast members.
Scripts involving Barlow’s character are currently being written and the soap said it is limiting the time it films with the older cast during the pandemic.