Corrie star Bill Roache uncovers family history of drunken domestic violence on Who Do You Think You Are!

Digging around in your family’s past can sometimes unearth secrets that are perhaps best kept as just that, and arguably, Coronation Street star Bill Roache – while filming an edition of ancestry show Who Do You Think You Are? – might have preferred not to learn about some of his ancestors and their behaviour…

That’s because Bill discovered that a whole generation of his family was “torn apart” by the spectre of alcohol fuelled domestic violence.

Bill first discovered that his mother Hester was just three months old when her mother sent her to live with an aunt, so as to spare her possible beatings from “horrible” Albert, her father, who was of course Bill’s grandfather.

Of Albert, Bill – who of course plays Ken Barlow – said, “A picture is emerging of a drunken, violent, horrible man…

“And the minute he has a child, it is taken away and brought up by someone else.”

Bill, who is 80, explains in the show that his mum “never talked” about her past, but he also discovered that for many years, the family were effectively held together by his “amazing” grandmother, Zillah Waddicor.

But, in yet another astonishing revelation, he learned that his great grandfather made a living by administering electric shocks to cure people of “nervous diseases.”

Don’t miss Bill’s edition of Who Do You Think You Are? on BBC1, September 26, at 9pm.

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