KEN Barlow leaves Coronation Street tonight after selling up to move to his new retirement village.
The retired teacher, 80 – who is played by actor Bill Roache in the ITV soap – has decided to leave the cobbles for the first time in his 80 years living there.
He is moving into a luxury retirement flat with Claudia Colby and tonight, after agreeing to sell the house to daughter Tracy and her husband Steve, is the night he leaves for good.
He is the only remaining character from the first episode of the soap that will celebrate its 60th anniversary in December.
Ken made the decision to say goodbye to the only home he's ever known in the special 10,000th episode last month.
In an episode packed full of reminiscence and strolls down memory lane, Ken struggled with the decision of whether to move with Claudia.
But after a frank discussion about regrets with old pals Rita and Audrey, Ken came to his decision and decided to say goodbye to the cobbles.
Fans were in shock at Ken's decision to leave the street behind with one saying: "I can't believe Ken's leaving! It's his home!"
Actor Bill Roache explained that Ken had to take his final chance of adventure: "This is a big decision for Ken but in some ways he thinks it is now or never.
"He has lived on the same street his whole life and in the same house for most of it. He feels that he had a chance to move away with Martha on the barge but he let her go.
"Part of him regretted that. He doesn’t want to make the same mistake again and Claudia is very persuasive.
"Filming that final scene of the episode was very poignant, just Ken and Eccles and the cobbles. He breaks the news to the family next week and they are surprised but very soon Peter and Tracy start squabbling over who will be given first refusal on the house.
"We have already started filming at the retirement complex and I am really enjoying it, it always feels different when we film away from the street.
"It seems fitting that Ken makes this decision in the 10,000th episode but it will be strange not filming in Number One after all this time."
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