Coronation Street star Bill Roache apologised today after he suggested that victims of sexual abuse are being punished for their behaviour in previous lives.
Roache, who has played Ken Barlow since the soap began in 1960, made the comments during an interview with New Zealand's One News.
The actor said he had "no intention of causing any kind of distress", adding, "I offer my upmost sympathies to anyone affected by sexual offences and paedophilia".
ITV News North of England Correspondent Damon Green reports:
Coronation Street actor Bill Roache said he "would never say that victims of sexual offences are responsible for the abuse that they've suffered", adding, "I apologise most profusely if I've been misunderstood in this way":
The NSPCC has described Bill Roache's original comments as "bizarre" and "not helpful for anyone".
Jon Brown, head of the NSPCC's sexual abuse programme, said the comments were "hurtful and demeaning" to people who had already suffered horrendous experiences.
"We should be concentrating on helping the thousands of children sexually abused every year who need therapy to re-build their lives", Mr Brown added.
An ITV spokesman said: "These were personal comments that Bill made for which he has apologised."
– Bill Roache statement
I would like to say that I am very sorry for any offence that has been caused as a result of my comments.
I would never say that victims of sexual offences are in any way responsible for the abuse they have suffered and I offer my deepest apologies if anything I have said has been misunderstood in this way.
I had no intention of causing any kind of distress as a result of my interview and I offer my upmost sympathies to anyone affected by sexual offences and paedophilia.
Coronation Street star Bill Roache said he was "very sorry for any offence that has been caused" after he suggested in a television interview that victims of paedophiles bring abuse upon themselves because of what they have done in previous lives.