02/07/2013 12:10 BST | Updated 02/07/2013 12:48 BST

'Coronation Street': Soap To Explain Bill Roache's Ken Barlow Absence

'Coronation Street' will tackle the absence of their longest-serving actor, Bill Roache, on screen next week.

Roache, who has played bookish Ken Barlow in the ITV soap for over 50 years, is currently not appearing in the programme while he is facing charges of rape and indecent assault.

bill roache

He was charged on May 1 with two counts of rape and later charged with five indecent assaults against four girls aged between 11 or 12 and 16, but strenuously denies all of the allegations.

Digital Spy reportsthat Ken's absence will be worked into the storyline as his wife Deirdre (Anne Kirkbride) reveals that he has flown off to Canada, during a double bill airing on Friday 12 July.

Ken was last seen on Monday 29 April, when his adopted daughter Tracy (Kate Ford) invited new boyfriend Rob Donovan to dinner at the Barlows'.

The soap's writers have conjured up "a last-minute trip to support his grandson Adam, who is unwell after suffering a shock collapse".

Meanwhile, 'Corrie' bosses have announced that 'East Is East' star Jimi Mistry is joining the cobbles.

jimi mistry

He will play Gary Windass's old friend Khalid - an ex-squaddie turned personal trainer - and will appear on screen from November.

This isn't Mistry's first soap role, as he previously played Dr Fonseca in 'EastEnders'.

Viewers of the Manchester-based soap are currently watching as as scheming David Platt continues to make Nick Tilsley suspicious over his wife Leanne's relationship with her ex Peter Barlow.

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