Coronation Street actor William Roache has been arrested on suspicion of rape.
The 81-year-old, who has played Ken Barlow in the ITV1 soap since it began in 1960, was arrested at his home in Wilmslow, Cheshire this morning on alleged offences involving a 15-year-old girl in 1967.
Lancashire police said the offences are alleged to have been committed in Haslingden between April and July 1967.
A police spokesperson said: “We take all allegations of sexual abuse extremely seriously and would encourage people with any information about sexual abuse, or anyone who has been a victim of sexual abuse, to come forward and report their concerns confident in the knowledge they will be investigated appropriately and with sensitivity.”
Roache will be questioned at a police station in Lancashire during the course of the day and it is understood he will not appear in ITV’s Manchester-based show while investigations are on-going.
It is believed that he is not being questioned as part of Operation Yewtree, which is investigating historic sex crimes in the wake of the Jimmy Savile scandal, leading to the arrests of a number of high-profile stars.
In March, Bill Roache issued an apology after he said the public should be ‘totally forgiving’ of people who had committed child sex crimes, during an interview with a New Zealand news programme.
Speaking to ITV after the furore, he said: “I would never say that victims of sexual offences are responsible for the abuse they have suffered, and I apologise most profusely if I have been misunderstood in this way.
“I offer my utmost sympathies to anyone who has been affected by sexual offences or paedophilia.”
Picture courtesy of ITV, via YouTube.