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Ken's struggle with Blanche's Corrie funeral

Coronation Street's William Roache, who plays Ken Barlow in the soap, revealed today how difficult he found it to film the funeral of his on-screen mother-in-law Blanche Hunt.

The actor said filming the funeral at a similar time to attending the memorial service for the actress Maggie Jones was "really upsetting".

He said: "What was quite bizarre was that on-screen we were doing the death of Blanche and then we had to break off and do the memorial service for Maggie.

"It really got very complex. I have never had a confusion of reality and non-reality before and it was really upsetting for a lot of us.

"You didn't know what you were upset about either, you were losing the actor, a friend, a colleague and the character."

Jones, who had played the character since 1974, died in hospital on December 2 aged 75.

Soap bosses hastily wrote a storyline where Blanche flew to Portugal with a friend. The funeral will be screened on ITV in May.