CORONATION Street star William Roache was ‘sticking to his script’ when lying that he did not sexually abuse five young girls, a jury heard.
Roache, 81, who plays Ken Barlow in the ITV soap, is accused of using his fame and popularity to exploit ‘starstruck’ youngsters nearly 50 years ago.
His trial has heard that the complainants, who did not know each other, apart from two sisters, claimed they had been assaulted while at Granada Studios in Manchester, in his car or at properties he owned in Haslingden.
Prosecutor Anne Whyte QC began her closing speech at Preston Crown Court today to the jury of eight women and four men with the observation: "Well, members of the jury, someone is lying.
"One important question that you are going to frankly have to ask yourselves is who has the most to gain in lying?
"Is it someone like (an alleged victim) or is it the enduringly popular Mr Roache?
"Who, of all the witnesses, is most used to rehearsing what he has to say and sticking to his script?
"Is it someone like (another alleged victim) or is it the actor William Roache, a man who has spent his entire life learning lines and delivering them for public consumption?"
Roache, from Wilmslow, Cheshire, denies two counts of rape and four counts of indecent assault involving the complainants aged 16 and under between the mid-1960s and early 1970s.
The trial was adjourned until 10am tomorrow when Louise Blackwell QC will give her closing speech for the defence.