Coronation Street to explain Ken Barlow absence

'Coronation Street' will explain Ken Barlow's absence from the soap next week after actor Bill Roache's abrupt departure due to indecent assault charges

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Bill Roache

Bill Roache

'Coronation Street' will finally explain Ken Barlow's absence from the show next week as actor Bill Roache faces trial over indecent assault.

The ITV soap will address the character's abrupt departure from ongoing storylines when his wife Deirdre (Anne Kirkbride) tells his daughter Tracy (Kate Ford) that Ken has flown to Canada to take care of his poorly grandson, Adam, who has suffered a shock collapse.

In scenes to air on Friday, July 12, Deirdre will be seen telling Tracy: "Canada is a long way away and he's got no other family. Blacking out like that is frightening, and he collapsed at work."

The long-standing soap favourite was last seen on screen in April and hasn't been mentioned since, due to Bill's ongoing legal issues.

The 81-year-old actor is accused of five counts of indecent assault involving four girls aged between 12 and 16, as well as two counts of rape involving a 15-year-old girl.

Bill is expected to stand trial in January 2014 and isn't expected to return to the soap until after resolving his legal issues.

The soap star - who has been in 'Coronation Street' since its first episode in 1960 - has previously denied all allegations made against him and intends to "vigorously protest his innocence".

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