Live updates

Bill Roache will stand trial in January

Coronation Street star Bill Roache will face trial in January over allegations of historic sexual offences against five girls.

The 81-year-old actor was charged in May with two counts of raping a 15-year-old girl in east Lancashire in 1967.

Last week he faced fresh charges of five indecent assaults involving four girls aged between 11 or 12 and 16. He appeared today for a five-minute preliminary hearing at Preston Crown Court. His trial date was set for January 13.

He was bailed until his next court appearance on September 2 when he will enter formal pleas.Last week, Roache's lawyer said his client was looking forward to standing before a jury to "vigorously protest his innocence" over "deeply upsetting" child sex allegations.

Advertisement

Corrie actor Bill Roache appears in court

The Coronation Street actor Bill Roache has appeared in court for the first time since he was accused of raping a 15 year old girl in the 1960s.

The actor who plays Ken Barlow has strenously denied the allegations.

The alleged offences are said to have taken place in Lancashire in 1967.

Our correspondent Elaine Willcox was at Preston magistrates court:

Actor Roache bailed on rape charges

Coronation Street actor Bill Roach (right) leaves Preston Magistrates' Court
Coronation Street actor Bill Roach (right) leaves Preston Magistrates' Court Credit: PA

Veteran Coronation Street actor Bill Roache, who lives in Cheshire, has made his first appearance in court accused of raping a 15-year-old girl.

Appearing at Preston Magistrates' Court, the 81-year-old was led into the witness box and confirmed his full name, address and date of birth.

He was arrested at his home in Wilmslow on May 1 and was later charged with two counts of rape against his alleged victim in 1967.

Roache was bailed to appear for a preliminary hearing at Preston Crown Court on June 10.

Coronation Street actor Bill Roach leaves Preston Magistrates' Court
Coronation Street actor Bill Roach leaves Preston Magistrates' Court Credit: PA

Advertisement

Roache in court over rape claims

Bill Roache arrives at Preston Magistrates' court
Bill Roache arrives at Preston Magistrates' court Credit: Martin Rickett/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Coronation Street actor Bill Roache, who lives in Cheshire, is to make his first appearance in court accused of raping a 15-year-old girl.

The 81-year-old, who has played Ken Barlow in the soap since its launch, was arrested at his home in Wilmslow on May 1 and was later charged with two counts of rape against his alleged victim in 1967.

In a statement, Roache said he was "astounded and deeply horrified by the extraordinary events" of his arrest and subsequent charging.

He added: "I strenuously deny the allegations and will now focus my full attention on fighting to preserve my innocence in the challenging times ahead.

"I would like to offer my sincere thanks to all those people who have offered me their support and good wishes at this difficult time."

Roache - the world's longest-serving soap actor - will not appear in the programme until legal proceedings are concluded, ITV said.

He collected an award from Guinness World Records in 2010 for his long service in Coronation Street, having joined in 1960 and appeared regularly ever since.

Roache will appear at Preston Magistrates' Court for a routine hearing where the case is expected to be sent to Preston Crown Court for trial at a later date.

Load more updates

Advertisement

Today's top stories