Coronation Street actor Bill Roache has appeared in court charged with two counts of raping a 15-year-old girl in 1967.
Roache, 81, who has played the part of Ken Barlow in the popular soap for 53 years, appeared at Preston Magistrates Court for the preliminary hearing. He was released on bail till 10 June, when he will appear at Preston Crown Court.
Roache has denied the allegations.
He said following his arrest. "I am astounded and deeply horrified by the extraordinary events of the last 24 hours.
"I strenuously deny the allegations and will now focus my full attention on fighting to preserve my innocence in the challenging times ahead."
Roache holds the Guinness World Record for being the longest-serving television actor in a continuous role.
An ITV spokesperson said Roache will not be appearing in Coronation Street until legal proceedings are concluded.
Roache was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at the British Soap Awards in 1999 and an MBE in 2001.