Joined the British Army in 1953 (commissioned into the Royal Welsh Fusiliers), promoted to Lieutenant in 1954. Upon leaving in 1956, continues to suffer from tinnitus, due to witnessing a mortar round explosion.
Has written about his interest in astrology in his biography, and was photographed practising druid rituals in the 1970s.
Won the Lifetime Achievement Award at the British Soap Awards, 1999.
Awarded the Member of the Order of the British Empire in 2001, in the Queen's Honors List.
Awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Chester, in recognition of his contribution to television, March 2007.
Was arrested, charged and subsequently acquitted on suspicion of child sexual abuse and rape in 2013. Although denying all allegations, ITV suspended him from Coronation Street, until he was ultimately acquitted.
Is listed in the Guinness World Records as the longest-serving television actor in a continuous role.