Jury in Bill Roache trial retires to consider verdicts

The jury in the trial of Coronation Street actor William Roache has retired to consider its verdicts. Roache denies two counts of rape and four counts of indecent assault.

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Corrie actor Chris Gascoyne: 'It's a joy to be with Bill'

Coronation Street actor Chris Gascoyne, who plays William Roache's on-screen son Peter Barlow, said the actor is a "joy to be with" as he gave evidence at Preston Crown Court.

Mr Gascoyne, who has appeared in the ITV soap since 2000, said he had never seen an unpleasant side to William Roache's character and would go to him to ask advice about anything to do with Coronation Street.

Chris Gascoyne leaves Preston Crown Court having given evidence in the William Roache trial. Credit: PA Wire

"Bill kind of sets the precedent for everybody, decent to everybody, kind to everybody and not a star," he added.

Defending barrister Louise Blackwell QC asked: "In terms of contact towards and with young women, how would you describe it?"

"Completely normal," the witness said, adding: "Well, nothing untoward."

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Coronation Street actress defends 'lovely' Bill Roache

Coronation Street star Anne Kirkbride has told a jury that her on-screen husband William Roache "was always a perfect gentleman" around her.

The actress, who has played Deidre Barlow since 1972, described Roache as "lovely" when asked to give one word to describe him.

Mr Roache smiled in the dock as she made the comment.

Coronation Street actress Anne Kirkbride gives evidence at Bill Roache's trial Credit: ITV News/Priscilla Coleman

Ms Kirkbride said she had never seen anything worrying about Roache's behaviour on set with young women from when she joined the show.

Asked what she thought of the actor on meeting him, she said: "He was friendly. I remember the first time I spoke to him was outside a lift and we had a really nice chat and he offered me a cigarette.

"We shared a lot of the same interests in spiritual things. I just found him very easy to talk to."

Roache waves at Corrie colleagues after evidence

William Roache waved at his Coronation Street colleagues as they finished giving evidence in his defence at Preston Crown Court.

Earlier, Anna Kirkbride, who plays Roache's on-screen wife, and Chris Gascoyne, who plays his son Peter Barlow in the soap, gave evidence in the trial.

Actor: William Roache 'kind, warm and professional'

Chris Gascoyne, who plays Peter Barlow in Coronation Street, has told jurors that William Roache is kind, warm and professional as he gave evidence in defence of the Coronation Street actor who denies a string of sexual offences.

ITV News' UK Editor Lucy Manning is at Preston Crown Court:

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