Michael Turner aka Kevin Webster
Michael Turner aka Kevin Webster

Coronation street star Michael Le Vell must wait five months to stand trial for child sex abuse, after hearing his request for an earlier date turned down.

Le Vell, who plays mechanic Kevin Webster, is accused of child rape, indecent assault and sexual activity with a child. In total he is accused of 19 separate offences between 2001 and 2010.

The actor, real name Michael Turner, appeared at Manchester Crown Court for the preliminary hearing in front of a packed courtroom, which included six members of his family.

Le Vell has yet to enter a plea but has vigorously denied the allegations.

At a previous hearing, defence lawyer Alisdair Williamson said the case had been "hanging over his [Le Vell's] head for 18 months."

Earlier this month, he was photographed looking dishevelled amid reports the case was taking a toll on him.

Le Vell was granted bail by judge Michael Henshell until a plea hearing on 17 May. The trial commences on 2 September.

Earlier this month, a 23-year-old man was arrested by Manchester police after the name of an alleged victim of Le Vell was published on Twitter.

Le Vell vowed to clear his name of allegations when he was charged in January. He stepped down from Coronation Steet, the world's oldest soap opera, to fight the case.

"I would like to make it quite clear that following the serious allegations that have been brought against me, I am innocent of these charges and intend to fight them vigorously," he said.

"I will now put all my efforts into clearing my name and proving my innocence."

New charges against Le Vell were leveled following a review of a previous investigation by the Director of Public Prosecutions.