In an emotional meeting, producers Kieran Roberts and Steve Blackburn hugged Michael and told him they would be supporting him
Michael Le Vell has met Corrie bosses to discuss major new plotlines should he return to the cobbles.
Michael, 48, who has played the Street’s mechanic Kevin Webster for more than 30 years, was told that he does have a future on the ITV1 soap if cleared of child sex charges.
In an emotional meeting, producers Kieran Roberts and Steve Blackburn hugged Michael and told him they would be supporting him.
The bosses expressed their dismay at incorrect claims that the actor had been suspended from Coronation Street over his forthcoming court appearance.
They also revealed they have penned a major new storyline involving his character Kevin if he does walk free after his trial.
An ITV source said: “The producers met with Michael because they were concerned by the suggestion he had been cast aside by the show.
“Nothing could be further from the truth. Instead they told Michael, ‘You’ve not been sacked and you’ve not been suspended and we hope to see you back soon’. They also explained to him the details of a big new plot they hope Michael will be a part of in future.”
Our source added: “Michael has had a horrific few months so to hear that was finally some good news.
“He really misses the day-to-day life of being on Corrie. Afterwards Michael said to them, ‘You could have told me all this over the phone’.
“But Steven and Kieran explained they wanted to explain it to him face to face. Then the three of them had a big man hug. It was an emotional moment for all involved.”
Michael – photographed walking on a cobbled street close to his home in Hale, South Manchester, this week – last appeared on the show on February 8.
Close to 10 million viewers saw his character Kevin lie to police in front of his former wife Sally about Tyrone Dobbs, whose baby he secretly helped “abduct”.
It has been reported that a future episode will see Sally tell her neighbours that he has had to leave Weatherfield to care for his father Bill, played by Peter Armitage, who has fallen ill.
This would leave the door open for Michael to return to the show if he is cleared of the offences.
News of Michael’s meeting with Corrie bosses comes two weeks after he reappeared in court to learn he will stand trial in September. He faces 19 child sex allegations including rape, indecent assault and sexual activity with a child, after a Crown Prosecution Service review of charges against him that had previously been dropped through lack of evidence.
Even though Michael now faces a long wait to go to court he has told friends he is “smiling through” and has vowed to clear his name.
The alleged offences all took place between 2001 and 2010. He split from his wife Janette Beverley last year.
He told one friend: “I am fine. I am just living my life and getting on with things the best I can.
“Yes I go to the pub but that’s where my mates are where I can just relax and watch the football.
“And, yes, I go to the bookies but I normally just pop in there for a cup of tea and a chat with the lads. I’ve read that I am hiding away and living on a diet of beans on toast. That’s rubbish. I am just getting on with things and trying to live my life the best I can.”
The source added: “Michael says he’s determined not to hide himself away over the next few months. He’s getting a lot of support from his friends – but he’s in quite a good frame of mind.
“He finds it quite amusing when people say he spends all his time sitting in the bookies.
“Truth is, he does pop in from time to time, but more often than not it’s for a cup of tea. He’s really good friends with some of the people who run it.”
His sister Glenis Gill spoke out in support of the Corrie favourite last month.
She said: “The whole thing came out of the blue and left Michael really shocked. It is a really tough time for him and he will be glad when this is all over. But he is bearing up OK.”
Michael was first arrested in September 2011 after the girl, now a teenager, claimed he had sexually assaulted her from the age of six.
Three months later prosecutors said there was insufficient evidence and the charges were dropped.
Then came the CPS review which revived the allegations of child sex.
In a statement Michael has vowed that he would “vigorously” fight the allegations against him.
When he appeared at Manchester Crown Court 10 days ago he flashed a thumbs-up sign at fans as they shouted encouragement to him.
It was a big difference from a few weeks ago when he looked drawn, haggard and close to tears as he appeared before magistrates.
by Nick Owens