Friday, 7 October 2011

Do you have a "Thing" for Ken Barlow?

(This post was originally posted by Seapenguin on the Coronation Street Blog November, 2010, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Blog reader Ange left a comment on an earlier post, saying that they had "always had a thing for Ken Barlow". Now, this isn't the first time I've heard that said. Quite often, if Coronation Street comes up in a conversation, someone will say that exact phrase. "I've always had a thing for Ken Barlow." Usually, it's a fairly young woman, twenties or thirties, and they aren't referring to the young "windswept" Ken. They're talking about mature Ken. Fatherly Ken. The Ken who's seen a bit of life, from editing the Weatherfield Gazette and having an affair with Steph Beacham, to taking Eccles for a walk and collecting trolleys at Freshco.
Personally, while I really like Ken as a character - in fact, the Barlows are my all-time favourite Street family - I can honestly say I've never actually "had a thing" for him. So I'm curious to know what it is that so attracts. He's not a bad-looking chap, wearing very well for 78, but it seems to be much more than that. Perhaps it's his dependable, fatherly demeanour. Perhaps it's his passion for literature and the arts. Perhaps it's the way he constantly returns to Deirdre after all his affairs and yearnings for the so-called finer things in life. I'm not sure! If anyone can help me out here, I'd be delighted.
By the way - I love this picture of Ken and Deirdre. As far as I'm concerned it captures everything I like about Coronation Street. Two sterling characters, working their way through their umpteenth family crisis.

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