Coronation Street actor Michael Le Vell, who has been charged with child sex offences, will not be appearing in any further episodes pending the outcome of legal proceedings, ITV has said.
Le Vell, 48, whose real name is Michael Turner, is accused of 19 sex offences including raping a child, indecently assaulting a child and sexual activity with a child.
An ITV spokesman said: “Given the serious nature of these charges, Michael Le Vell will not be appearing in Coronation Street pending the outcome of legal proceedings. It would not be appropriate for us to comment further at this time.”
Le Vell, who has played car mechanic Kevin Webster for the past 30 years in the popular ITV show, will appear in court in two weeks’ time.
He was first arrested in September 2011 and questioned over alleged child sex offences, but the matter was later dropped.
Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said the actor had been charged with sex offences against a youngster after a review of evidence by lawyers from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).
Le Vell, a father of two, was not charged with offences after his initial arrest in September 2011 and the investigation was dropped three months later in late December, when the authorities said there would be no further action taken against him as there was not enough evidence to charge him.
At the time the actor said he was “delighted” to have been “completely exonerated”, thanked police for their “thorough” investigation and Coronation Street staff and the public for their support.
Le Vell vowed to put the allegations behind him and returned to the show after a short break and is now currently involved in some of the soap’s main storylines.
The actor split from his wife Janette Beverley last year.