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Last Updated: Tuesday, 27 March 2007, 15:52 GMT 16:52 UK
Coronation Street actor suspended
Bruce Jones as Les Battersby in Coronation Street
ITV said it was taking the allegations "very seriously"
Bruce Jones, who plays Les Battersby in Coronation Street, has been suspended over allegations that he insulted fans during a drunken trip to a restaurant.

The actor has been asked to stay away from filming pending an investigation.

The News of the World claimed Jones, 54, swore and discussed the outcome of Tracy Barlow's murder trial, currently a major plot in the long-running show.

Jones "denies the allegations and the context of the comments", a statement on the programme's website said.

It added that he was "currently taking legal advice about the newspaper article", which referred to events at the Old Rectory restaurant in Stockport.

Double bill

A spokeswoman for ITV said the article "alleged that Mr Jones had got drunk while with an undercover reporter and made inappropriate comments in a public place".

"ITV takes these allegations very seriously and will be looking into them further," she added.

The start of the trial, a storyline which was played out during Monday evening's double bill, earned an audience of 10.2m for the first episode and 10.7m for the second.

This compared to 11.1m and 8.3m viewers for the equivalent editions a week earlier.

Tracy Barlow - played by Kate Ford - stands accused of killing her former boyfriend Charlie Stubbs.

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