Michael Le Vell will not appear in Coronation Street says ITV
Updated 1:33pm Friday 15th February 2013 in News
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 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, a stalwart on the popular ITV series, will appear in court in two weeks' time, Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said.
He was first arrested in September 2011 and questioned over alleged child sex offences, but the matter was later dropped. But late on Thursday night GMP said the actor, from Hale, Cheshire, had been charged with sex offences against a youngster after a review of evidence by lawyers from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).
A spokeswoman from GMP said: "Michael Turner, of Byrom Street, Hale, has been charged with 19 offences including raping a child, indecently assaulting a child and sexual activity with a child. The charges, which were authorised by the CPS following a review of evidence, relate to offences against a child between 2001 and 2010."
Alison Levitt, QC, principal legal adviser to the director of public prosecutions, had reviewed a file of evidence in relation to allegations of sexual offences and looked again at a decision previously made not to prosecute.
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. He is one of TV's most famous faces after playing car mechanic Kevin Webster for the past 30 years in the TV show. The actor split from his wife Janette Beverley last year