Alan Rothwell (9th February 1937), was born in Oldham. In Coronation Street he played David Barlow for several stints from the first episode until 1968. After leaving Coronation Street for the first time in June 1961 he played Mike in twenty-six episodes of Top Secret and continued to act in a guest capacity until he returned to Coronation Street as a regular in December 1964. After leaving for good in April 1968 he has continued to act with many credits to his name, making five appearances as Reverand Jackson in Heartbeat, and having a regular role in Dead Man Weds amongst other roles.
Prior to Coronation Street, he had been a child actor, appearing in several radio programmes in the Children's Hour slot from Manchester and acting alongside Street creator Tony Warren (under his real name of Tony Simpson) in plays such as Day Trip (15th July 1951) and Humphrey Chetham (17th August 1952) in which Doris Speed and Violet Carson also had parts. He also played Violet Carson's son in the play Jasper the Voice broadcast on 10th June 1953 and in The Bluenose Pirate (3rd to 10th July 1957). For three years, and ending immediately prior to beginning work on Coronation Street, he was a regular in The Archers playing farm worker and skiffle player Jimmy Grange.
Alan is also a familiar face thanks to his presenting work. From 1968 he presented the enduring Picture Box which presented children with films from around the world. In the mid seventies he presented Hickory House. He continues to act to this day.