Michael Le Vell has spoken of his delight as he returned to work on Coronation Street as Kevin Webster.

The 49-year-old actor – who has played mechanic Kevin for 30 years – was suspended from work at the ITV soap in February when he was charged with child sex offences. He was cleared of all charges following a trial last September.

Michael was photographed by the Daily Star beaming as he left his house and arrived on the Coronation Street set for his first day back at work.

He said: “I’m coming back to a job and a family I’ve loved for the last 30 years. I’ve really missed everyone and it’s such a buzz to be working together in the new Coronation Street Production Centre. It’s a wonderful place and it feels like new beginnings for all of us.

“I’ve had the most amazing support from cast, crew and members of the public over the last 12 months and I couldn’t have asked for more. ITV and Coronation Street have been first class and I’m really delighted to be back at work doing the job I love.”

When Michael was suspended he was written out of Coronation Street, with estranged wife Sally Webster revealing Kevin had gone to Germany to look after his father Bill after he suffered a heart attack. Since Kevin left Sally has begun a relationship with Tim Metcalfe.

Producer Stuart Blackburn signalled an explosive love triangle plot for Kevin as the beloved character returns: “At the point when Kevin was forced to leave for Germany, he was actually looking to get back together with Sally.

“So when he returns, it’s to a very different world in Coronation Street. He comes back to find Sally’s relationship with Tim, while his daughter Sophie’s world will have changed as well, and in Sally’s eyes, not necessarily for the better.”