Coronation Street's William Roache appears in court on rape charge

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Media captionWilliam Roache was making his first court appearance

Coronation Street star William Roache has appeared in court accused of raping a 15-year-old girl in the 1960s.

Mr Roache, 81, was arrested at his home in Wilmslow, Cheshire, on 1 May and was later charged with two counts of rape against his alleged victim in 1967.

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

He appeared at Preston Magistrates' Court and his case was committed to crown court for a hearing on 10 June.

An ITV spokesman said the actor would not be appearing in Coronation Street until legal proceedings were concluded.

Mr Roache has an award from Guinness World Records for being the world's longest-serving soap actor, having appeared in Coronation Street since its first episode.

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