Coronation Street actor Bill Roache faces trial in Preston

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Coronation Street star Bill Roache will go on trial in Preston on Tuesday accused of committing historic sexual offences against five girls.

The 81-year-old veteran soap star was arrested at his home in Wilmslow, Cheshire, last May and later charged with two counts of raping a 15-year-old girl in East Lancashire in 1967.

Coronation Street star Bill Roache

Coronation Street star Bill Roache

A month later he was additionally charged with five indecent assaults involving four girls aged between 11 or 12 and 16, allegedly committed in the Manchester area between 1965 and 1968.

Roache had pleaded not guilty to the seven counts he faces.

The world’s longest-serving soap actor, who plays Ken Barlow, has not appeared in the programme while the legal proceedings are ongoing.

The trial at Preston Crown Court is scheduled to last up to four weeks.