ENTERTAINMENT

Bill Roache, 'Ken Barlow' Coronation Street Actor, Charged With Rape

01/05/2013 20:56 BST | Updated 01/05/2013 22:06 BST

UPDATE 22:00 Police have now confirmed that the actor has been charged during the evening of Wednesday 1 May.

Coronation Street actor Bill Roache is to be charged with two counts of rape of a 15-year-old girl in 1967, the Crown Prosecution Service said.

The 81-year-old, who has played Ken Barlow in the ITV soap since its launch, was arrested at his home in Wilmslow, Cheshire, this morning.

Nazir Afzal, Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS North West, said: "We have carefully considered all the evidence gathered by Lancashire Police in relation to William Roache following allegations of rape.

bill roache ken barlow coronation street

Bill Roache has played Ken Barlow on Coronation Street since 1960

"We have been reviewing evidence and providing early investigative advice to Lancashire Police since 1 March 2013.

bill roach charged

Police outside Bill Roache's home in Cheshire

"Having completed our review, we have concluded that there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest for Mr Roache to be charged with two offences of rape relating to a girl, aged 15, in 1967."

Roache will appear at Preston Magistrates' Court on May 14