I’m called Ken Barlow but I’ve never watched Coronation Street – I’m sick of people asking how Deidre is
A MAN christened Ken Barlow has described the ridicule he’s endured because he shares his name with the famous Coronation Street character.
The half Japanese, half British man from North Wales has revealed the added bad luck of going to study at Manchester University – near where the soap is filmed.
Then Ken, 43, found himself working for a company where he found another employee was called Mike Baldwin, the arch enemy of Corrie’s Ken, played by Bill Roache.
He said: “We were in different buildings, so ordinarily didn’t have occasion to meet. However, on a company-wide sponsored walk, a group of pranksters ensured we were introduced with great ceremony and mirth.
“There have been times when I’ve wished that Ken Barlow – not, I stress, William Roache – would die in a convoluted murder plot, but he seems destined to evade all such plot lines.”
He has revealed how there have been few positives to being named after the Weatherfield legend, who’s been on the show since 1960 during which time he was mostly married to Deirdre.
Ken, who was born on the Japanese island of Hokkaido but works in publishing in London, said the gags started from an early age and continue to this day.
Writing for Metro.co.uk, Ken said: “I just recall the endless barrage of ‘How’s Deidre?’ I had to endure at school. While I might get an occasional ‘How’s life on the Street?’, there was generally remarkably little variety in my ridicule.
"Perhaps foolishly, I went to university in Manchester, where Coronation Street is filmed. On a positive note, it meant that everyone remembered my name at the first time of asking.
“There was one guy, however, who kept asking my name, seemingly forgetting that I had already told him five minutes previously. Later, he confessed that when I replied ‘Ken Barlow’, he thought I was ‘trying to be funny’.
“Another friend, to my great embarrassment, attempted to utilise my name as a pulling technique, approaching women on the dancefloor and announcing, ‘Meet Ken Barlow!’ It was, unsurprisingly, not an inducement to romance.”
The only potential bonus to being Ken Barlow would be a drink in the Rovers – but even that eluded him.
He said: “On one occasion, Granada Studios – where Coronation Street is filmed – hosted a one-night-only student extravaganza.
“As part of this, the Rovers Return was turned into a functioning pub. Determined, finally, to get some payback from my namesake, I marched in and slapped my student ID down on the bar, declaring: ‘I’m Ken Barlow! I think that deserves a free drink!’
“The barman simply shook his head.”
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