Veteran British soap star Bill Roache has formally pleaded not guilty to charges of rape and indecent assault relating to allegations dating back to the 1960s.

Earlier this year (13), the Coronation Street actor was slapped with two counts of raping a teenage girl in 1967, as well as five indecent assault accusations involving four females aged between 12 and 16 from 1965 to 1968.

The 81 year old returned to Preston Crown Court in England on Monday (02Sep13) to officially enter his pleas and will stand trial in January (14).

Roache, who remains free on bail, vehemently denied the allegations following his arrest on 1 May (13), and insisted he was "astounded" and "deeply horrified" by the claims.

Coronation Street producers have temporarily removed his longrunning character, Ken Barlow, from the storyline until the legal proceedings have been concluded.