A woman who has accused veteran British soap star Bill Roache of sexual assault was warned about the Coronation Street actor's alleged behaviour by one of his TV castmates, a court has heard. Roache, who has played Ken Barlow on Coronation Street for more than 53 years, is currently on trial following allegations relating to a series of sex attacks dating back to the 1960s.
One of the alleged victims took the witness stand at Preston Crown Court in England last week (ends17Jan14), and testified that she was 14 when Roache groped her after arranging for her and her sister to visit the soap opera set at Granada Studios in Manchester.
During cross-examination on Monday (20Jan14), she claimed that his one-time co-star, the late Peter Adamson, had called the 81 year old a "cockroach" and made a telling comment about the actor.
Referring to Adamson's onscreen character, she recalled, "It was Len Fairclough (Adamson) that made the (cockroach) comment. Because when he said it, he looked directly at him (Roache) and he looked at us and said, 'You want to keep your eye on him, he will lead you astray' and he called him 'cockroach'. Len Fairclough said that he would lead us astray..."
Adamson starred on Coronation Street from 1961 to 1983, and died in 2002.
Roache has denied two counts of rape and five charges of indecent assault.
His TV co-stars Anne Kirkbride, who plays his character's longtime partner Deirdre Barlow on the soap, Chris Gascoyne and Helen Worth are all expected to be called as witnesses for the defence.
The trial continues.
Veteran British soap star Bill Roache assaulted a young woman in a restroom at the ITV network studios where he was based, a U.K. court has heard. Roache, who has starred in hit TV drama Coronation Street for 53 years, is accused of a series of sex attacks dating back to the 1960s.
His trial began at Preston Crown Court in England on Tuesday (14Jan13) and the jury was told not to confuse the star, who is being tried under his full name of William Roache, with his beloved onscreen character Ken Barlow.
The judge, Mr Justice Holroyde, told jurors, "You may feel in one sense you know the defendant, Mr. Roache. He is well known as an actor who for many years has played the part of Ken Barlow in Coronation Street.
"But of course, this is not the fictional character of Ken Barlow in court. It is a real person, William Roache, who is on trial. You must separate the fictional character from the real person."
The court heard that Roache is facing two allegations of raping a teenage girl in 1967, and five charges of indecently assaulting four females, aged between 12 and 16, from 1965 to 1968.
One of the incidents is said to have taken place in a bathroom at TV network ITV.
Roache's co-stars, Anne Kirkbride, who plays his character's longtime partner Deirdre Barlow on the soap, his on-screen son Chris Gascoyne, and actress Helen Worth, are all expected to be called as witnesses for the defence.
Roache denies all seven charges.
The trial continues.
The first and most important thing you should know about Paramount Pictures’ Thor is that it’s not a laughably corny comic book adaptation. Though you might find it hokey to hear a bunch of muscled heroes talk like British royalty while walking around the American Southwest in LARP garb director Kenneth Branagh has condensed vast Marvel mythology to make an accessible straightforward fantasy epic. Like most films of its ilk I’ve got some issues with its internal logic aesthetic and dialogue but the flaws didn’t keep me from having fun with this extra dimensional adventure.
Taking notes from fellow Avenger Iron Man the story begins with an enthralling event that takes place in a remote desert but quickly jumps back in time to tell the prologue which introduces the audience to the shining kingdom of Asgard and its various champions. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) son of Odin is heir to the throne but is an arrogant overeager and ill-tempered rogue whose aggressive antics threaten a shaky truce between his people and the frost giants of Jotunheim one of the universe’s many realms. Odin (played with aristocratic boldness by Anthony Hopkins) enraged by his son’s blatant disregard of his orders to forgo an assault on their enemies after they attempt to reclaim a powerful artifact banishes the boy to a life among the mortals of Earth leaving Asgard defenseless against the treachery of Loki his mischievous “other son” who’s always felt inferior to Thor. Powerless and confused the disgraced Prince finds unlikely allies in a trio of scientists (Natalie Portman Stellan Skarsgard and Kat Dennings) who help him reclaim his former glory and defend our world from total destruction.
Individually the make-up visual effects CGI production design and art direction are all wondrous to behold but when fused together to create larger-than-life set pieces and action sequences the collaborative result is often unharmonious. I’m not knocking the 3D presentation; unlike 2010’s genre counterpart Clash of the Titans the filmmakers had plenty of time to perfect the third dimension and there are only a few moments that make the decision to convert look like it was a bad one. It’s the unavoidable overload of visual trickery that’s to blame for the frost giants’ icy weaponized constructs and other hybrids of the production looking noticeably artificial. Though there’s some imagery to nitpick the same can’t be said of Thor’s thunderous sound design which is amped with enough wattage to power The Avengers’ headquarters for a century.
Chock full of nods to the comics the screenplay is both a strength and weakness for the film. The story is well sequenced giving the audience enough time between action scenes to grasp the characters motivations and the plot but there are tangential narrative threads that disrupt the focus of the film. Chief amongst them is the frost giants’ fore mentioned relic which is given lots of attention in the first act but has little effect on the outcome. In addition I felt that S.H.I.E.L.D. was nearly irrelevant this time around; other than introducing Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye the secret security faction just gets in the way of the movie’s momentum.
While most of the comedy crashes and burns there are a few laughs to be found in the film. Most come from star Hemsworth’s charismatic portrayal of the God of Thunder. He plays up the stranger-in-a-strange-land aspect of the story with his cavalier but charming attitude and by breaking all rules of diner etiquette in a particularly funny scene with the scientists whose respective roles as love interest (Portman) friendly father figure (Skarsgaard) and POV character (Dennings) are ripped right out of a screenwriters handbook.
Though he handles the humorous moments without a problem Hemsworth struggles with some of the more dramatic scenes in the movie; the result of over-acting and too much time spent on the Australian soap opera Home and Away. Luckily he’s surrounded by a stellar supporting cast that fills the void. Most impressive is Tom Hiddleston who gives a truly humanistic performance as the jealous Loki. His arc steeped in Shakespearean tragedy (like Thor’s) drums up genuine sympathy that one rarely has for a comic book movie villain.
My grievances with the technical aspects of the production aside Branagh has succeeded in further exploring the Marvel Universe with a film that works both as a standalone superhero flick and as the next chapter in the story of The Avengers. Thor is very much a comic book film and doesn’t hide from the reputation that its predecessors have given the sub-genre or the tropes that define it. Balanced pretty evenly between “serious” and “silly ” its scope is large enough to please fans well versed in the source material but its tone is light enough to make it a mainstream hit.
Tom Cruise's Interview with the Vampire bloodsucker Lestat has 'bitten' Christopher Lee's Dracula and Robert Pattinson's Edward Cullen in a bloody new list of Hollywood's best bat men.
Anne Rice's charming Lestat claimed top spot in Entertainment Weekly's list of Greatest Vampires, while Draculas played by Lee and Bela Lugosi come in second and third. Twilight's Cullen character is fourth.
Also making the top 20 are Gary Oldman's Dracula, Reggie Nalder's Mr. Barlow from TV miniseries Salem's Lot, and Kiefer Sutherland's Lost Boys vampire, David.
(c) 2009 WORLD ENTERTAINMENT NEWS NETWORK LTD. All global rights reserved. No unauthorized copying or re-distributing permitted.
MORE NEWS: Hilton and Reinhardt Are Back Together
Anne Rice's charming Lestat claims top spot in Entertainment Weekly's list of Greatest Vampires, while Draculas played by Lee and Bella Lugosi come in second and third. Twilight's Cullen character is fourth.
Also making the top 20 are Gary Oldman's Dracula, Reggie Nalder's Mr. Barlow from TV mini-series Salem's Lot, and Kiefer Sutherland's Lost Boys vampire, David.