The Guinness World Record holder for the longest-serving soap actor has now been charged with rape.
According to a BBC News report, 81-year-old William Roache has been charged with two counts of rape. Roache plays Ken Barlow on the long-running British soap opera Coronation Street. He has appeared in the series since its first episode in 1960.
Roache is accused of raping a 15-year-old girl in 1967. The first hearing on the charges is scheduled for May 14.
Roach has issued a statement through his lawyers, saying:
“I am astounded and deeply horrified by the extraordinary events of the last 24 hours. 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.”
A spokesperson for ITV told the BBC that Roache will not be appearing on Coronation Street until the legal matter is settled.