Published Thursday, 05 September 2013
Michael Le Vell arrives at Manchester Crown Court on Thursday. (© PA)
The actor, best known for portraying Kevin Webster in the soap, took to the witness stand on Thursday to give evidence on the fourth day of the trial.
A visibly nervous Le Vell spoke in front of a hushed courtroom as he took the oath in a trembling voice.
The actor, who is being tried under his real name Michael Turner, was first questioned by defence lawyer Alisdair Williamson about his early life, family background and acting career.
Le Vell told the jury he was born in Manchester in 1964 and got into acting at school, aged 12, in the play Kes and he had been in Coronation Street for around 30 years.
Mr Williamson said in "all that time" Le Vell had never been in trouble and was, he added: "What we lawyers call a man of good character."
The actor spoke in a trembling voice as he was then asked by his lawyer how he felt at being accused of the rape and sex abuse of a young girl.
Le Vell replied: "How do I feel? I'm devastated, I'm lost. I don't understand where it's come from. It's left such a big hole in life.
"I'm like a lost soul and I still want to get to the bottom of why this has happened to me and why I'm being accused of this because I know none of this happened.
"I have been walking around for the last two years just not knowing."
Under cross-examination from prosecuting barrister Eleanor Laws QC, she asked the actor: "It has never been more important for you to be more persuasive than you have ever been today."
Le Vell replied: "I would not say persuasive. I am just here to tell the truth."
The barrister went on: "It has never been more important for people watching you to believe you, has it?"
He said: "I don't know what you are trying to say."
Miss Laws compared his need to be persuasive to an acting job.
Le Vell replied: "It's nothing like an acting job.
"You never get put in a position like this. They never teach you to be here and face what I have been faced with for the last two years. No one can teach you that."
He added: "I'm fighting for my life."
The 48-year-old faces 12 charges in all, including five counts of rape.
He denies all the charges.
The alleged offences relate to one complainant and are said to have taken place between September 2002 and September 2010.
The girl, who cannot be named, wept as she told the court on Monday how Le Vell told her it was their "little secret".
She also alleges to have been raped by the actor while she clutched a teddy bear during one attack.
The trial continues.
© UTV News