Coronation Street star Michael Le Vell fears his career on the show is over, even if he’s cleared of sexual offences charges
Fans of Coronation Street will no doubt be aware that actor Michael Le Vell, who plays mechanic Kevin Webster on the show, has been suspended from the soap pending the outcome of charges of historic sexual abuse against a minor.
They are allegations that Michael, whose real name is Michael Turner, strenuously denies, and he has vowed to clear his name, however, the Mirror today reports that even if that happens and he is exonerated, his career in TV and specifically on Corrie, could be over.
The paper adds, “As he awaits his next court appearance later this month after being freed on bail at an earlier hearing, the stressed-out actor who shot to fame after joining the soap in 1983 poured out his heart to a friend.”
That friend said, “He says he can’t imagine the executives welcoming him back with a big blockbuster storyline after weeks of lurid court details.
“He believes Kevin could very well be finished and will be quietly sidelined and then written out.
“He’s only really ever had this one job – and now he fears it could be his last.
“But, first things first, he’s determined to fight these charges all the way and prove his innocence.”
Of the fact that Corrie bosses chose to suspend him, Michael’s friend added, “Although he found that disappointing, he understands that ITV’s hands are tied in that respect.
“But it doesn’t make it any easier.”
It was reported a couple of weeks ago that the soap’s bosses were toying with the idea of having Kevin imprisoned for his part in helping Tyrone Dobbs (Alan Halsall) abduct his baby daughter Ruby, however, given the nature of the allegations made against Michael in real life, it was believed to be considered an inappropriate move.
The paper adds that Michael has recently suspended his Facebook and Twitter accounts pending the outcome of a case, which has seen him charged with 19 counts of sexual offences, including six of raping a child.
Last night, his friend added, “He’s been paralysed with fear since being charged.
“He thought he was over all this and now the nightmare has returned, twice as bad as before.
“He has a strong circle of close friends and family who didn’t doubt his innocence at the time the allegations were first levelled in 2011 – and they don’t doubt his innocence now he has been charged.
“But there is a worry that he is not looking after himself.
“He can’t help reading and re-reading every word that’s been written on the internet about the case.
“He has lost a lot of weight and is not eating properly.
“He says that he just wishes he could fast forward to his trial so he can show the nation he is innocent and get on with the rest of his life.
“But even that is uncertain because he is convinced his career as Kevin Webster is over – whether he is found guilty or not.”
A Corrie source said that Michael’s fears that he would be written out of the soap were unfounded.
The insider said, “No one here has given him any cause to feel that way or have those concerns.”
And an ITV spokesman added, “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.”
Here’s a reminder of a recent radio news report about the charges…