Coronation Street's William Roache in court on sex charges

William Roache William Roache has played Ken Barlow in Coronation Street since its launch in 1960

Coronation Street actor William Roache has appeared in court facing historical sexual offences against five girls.

Mr Roache, 81, from Wilmslow, Cheshire, was charged last month with two counts of rape of a girl aged 15 in 1967.

The actor, who plays Ken Barlow, last week faced new charges of five indecent assaults involving four girls aged from 12 to 16. He denies all the charges.

He was bailed to appear at Preston Crown Court again on 2 September with a 13 January provisional trial date set.

The five latest charges relate to a period between 1965 and 1968, when the assaults are alleged to have been committed in the Manchester area.

He was initially arrested at his home on 1 May over the rape of a girl in Haslingden in Lancashire. The latest claims arose from the publicity over that arrest, the Crown Prosecution Service said.

The actor, who has played Ken Barlow in Coronation Street since its launch in 1960, has said he strenuously denies the charges.

An ITV spokesman previously confirmed Mr Roache would not be appearing in the soap until legal proceedings had concluded.

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