Two of Britain's best known actors from the long-running television drama Coronation Street appear in separate court hearings facing unrelated charges of child rape.
PRESTON, UNITED KINGDOM (SEPTEMBER 2, 2013) (ITN) - British actors William Roache and Michael Le Vell from the television drama Coronation Street appeared in separate and unrelated court hearings on Monday (September 2), both facing charges of child rape.
Roache, who appeared at a court in Preston in Lancashire, denied two counts of raping a fifteen year old girl in 1967 and a further five counts of indecent assault on four girls in the late 1960s.
He is thought to be the world's longest-serving soap opera actor having played Ken Barlow in the ITV1 soap since its launch in 1960.
He remains on bail pending a full trial.
In the second case, at a trial underway at a court further south in Manchester, actor Le Vell, whose real name is Michael Turner is facing twelve charges in all, five of which are rape. One of the charges involves a six year old girl.
On Monday, the court heard testimony from a young female witness who said she had been raped by Le Vell.
Speaking from behind a screen to retain her anonymity, she told the jury she her attacker had put a teddy bear over her mouth to silence her during one rape.
Le Vell has denied all the charges.
The two actors join a list of ageing celebrities to be accused of sex crimes in Britain after revelations that the late BBC television presenter Jimmy Savile was a prolific predatory sex offender sparked a widespread police investigation.
ITV have released a statement saying neither actor will not be appearing in the programme until legal proceedings are concluded.