Thursday, 29 November 2012

Actually, Kevin Bacon, I Think You'll Find That...


...Ken Barlow has a Bacon Number of 3. Ignoring the nonsense that Kevin Bacon is spouting is the current TV commercial for the EE mobile network (where he proves that he either doesn't understand the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon game, or that he's willing to be flexible on the rules for cold, hard cash), it doesn't matter that Ken Barlow drinks at the Rover's Return and Kevin Bacon has a dog bring a ball back to him; no matter which way you cut it Ken Barlow (let's just made the assumption he means actor William Roache) has at best a Bacon Number of three. Here's how I worked it out...

Firstly, ignore what the know-it-all Google search tells you as TV programmes don't count when you're playing Six Degrees..., even if it is a TV movie. Even so, Google's best efforts could only muster a three.


The best place to start is the equally know-it-all IMDb, which after a quick perusal of William Roache's filmography (he's played Ken Barlow in Coronation Street for 52 years, don't you know?) reveals that he only appeared in one film, the 1960 Norman Wisdom comedy The Bulldog Breed, released into cinemas 4 days after Roache made his debut of Coronation Street.

With Roache in the cast as the futuristic sounding "Space Centre Operator", looking down the cast list there's a number of recognisable names to try and link to Bacon, including one Oscar winner and, of course, the one and only Norman Wisdom. Wisdom has a surprisingly low Bacon Number of two, meaning that once you link Wisdom back to William Roache we have a three again; and other big-hitters score the same.


I can't say I've ever heard of Loverboy, but not only does it star Kevin Bacon, it's directed by him too. But what about the future Oscar Winner in the cast? Surely at some point in their careers Kevin Bacon has shared the screen with Sir Michael Caine? That would take out one link at least!


I know what you're thinking, apart from that maybe I have too much time on my hands. You're thinking that I couldn't have possibly tried out every member of the cast, as that's something only a crazy person would do. Well colour me crazy, as I tried out every member of the main cast, supporting cast and even the dog, but as he only appeared in that one film it was a bit of a dead end.


Even via voice performances, the best you can get is a score of two, meaning that William Roache, the actor who has occupied Ken Barlow's shoes for the last 52 years but at one time appeared in a Norman Wisdom film as a Space Centre Operator, quite definitively has a Bacon Number of three.

So there you go Kev. Sorry to break it to you but maybe things aren't quite as easily connected as you first thought. Nice try though. Oh, and in case you're wondering about the name of the dog...





It isn't Rover.

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