Ken Barlow's absence from Weatherfield will finally be explained in a forthcoming episode in which Deirdre (Anne Kirkbride) is seen talking to daughter Tracy (Kate Ford) about Ken having to make an impromptu trip to Canada.
In scenes to be shown on Friday 12 July, Deirdre will tell Tracy that Ken (William Roache) has left to look after grandson Adam Barlow, the son of his late daughter Susan and Mike Baldwin, who is recovering after blacking out and collapsing at work.
“I reckon he just fancied a holiday,” says Tracy, before questioning whether Ken would ever go to such lengths for her.
William Roache, who has been a stalwart of Coronation Street since its first episode in 1960, is expected to face trial in January over allegations of historic sexual offences against five girls. He was last seen on screen in May 2013 and until now his character has not been mentioned in the show. ITV has said that Roache will not be appearing in the programme until legal proceedings are concluded.
Roache’s co-star Michael Le Vell, who faces trial in September after being charged with 19 child sex offences, has also been written out while he contests allegations. His character, mechanic Kevin Webster, was last referred to in April 2013 after Sally (Sally Dynevor) explained that he’d taken a flight to Germany to look after his father Bill, who’d had a massive heart attack while abroad.