Keeley Hawes reveals secret crush on this Coronation Street legend!

Keeley Hawes in Summer of Rockets

Keeley Hawes, in character here in her new thriller Summer of Rockets, is a fan of William Roache

Bodyguard star Keeley Hawes has revealed she has a 'little crush' on Coronation Street legend William Roache, aka Ken Barlow.

The 43-year-old actress co-stars with William’s son Linus Roache in her new BBC2 thriller Summer of Rockets, which starts tonight.

It turns out that William, who’s played Ken since Corrie began in 1960, is a big fan of Keeley’s ITV hit The Durrells.

Keeley told TV Times,“Yes, Linus mentioned that and I think I have a little crush on him too! I was very touched, actually.

“I used to watch Coronation Street with my grandmother who is no longer with us, so I feel very… well she certainly had a bit of a crush on Linus’ dad. I like that. He’s amazing.”

Keeley Hawes as Kathleen with Linus Roache as Richard in Summer of Rockets

Set in 1958 at the height of the Cold War, Summer of Rockets sees Keeley play aristocrat Kathleen Shaw, whose husband Richard (played by Linus) is an MP.

One of their friends is Russian-born inventor Samuel (Bond actor Toby Stephens), who ends up being blackmailed by MI5 to spy on them.

“Samuel is a lovely chap who strikes up a friendship with Kathleen after he helps her aunt who’s quite deaf, but then he’s dragged into this hidden world by MI5,” said Keeley.

Writer and producer Poliakoff said of the series,“1958 was an extraordinary year. It saw the end of the debs [debutantes] being presented to the queen. It was also a time of great fear of nuclear war.

"The Cold War was at its absolute height and it ended with the Notting Hill riots – a reminder of the racial tensions that were bubbling up.

“All these things came together within a few weeks in the summer of 1958, that’s why I’ve always been fascinated by that time and thought it was a great setting for a drama.”

Summer of Rockets, starring Keeley Hawes, Linus Roache, Toby Stephens and Timothy Spall, starts tonight on BBC2 at 9pm.

David Hollingsworth

David Hollingsworth has over 20 years of experience in television journalism and is the UK Managing Editor for WhatToWatch.


Before working for WhatToWatch, David was on both Whatsontv and, for many years, TV Times magazine, interviewing some of television's most famous stars including Hollywood actor Kiefer Sutherland, singer Lionel Richie, and wildlife legend Sir David Attenborough. David started out as a writer on TV Times before becoming the title's deputy features editor and then features editor. During his time on TV Times, David also helped run the annual TV Times Awards, once presenting an award to Hollywood star Lily James.