12:19 20 June 2006
Disturbing pictures have emerged of Coronation Street favourite Craig Charles in which he appears to be taking crack cocaine, revealing the true extent of his debauched lifestyle.
The revelation will stun millions of soap fans who know Charles as the Street's loveable cabbie Lloyd Mullaney.
The pictures, which appeared in the Daily Mirror, allegedly showed Charles smoking crack cocaine in the back of a car during a journey from London to Manchester.
Far more distrubing were reports the TV star had an astonishing 60 hits of the Class A drug in just four hours.
The newspaper said the pictures were taken after the star finished his funk show on BBC digital radio channel 6 Music.
He was picked up by his personal driver and driven north.
Using an empty lager can as a makeshift pipe, Charles repeatedly sucked the fumes from the burning crystals of crack cocaine.
It is reported that at one stage, his eyes rolled back into his head and he appeared to slip into a stupor, with his mouth opening and closing wordlessly as he gripped a head rest for support.
At the end of the journey the 41-year-old was dropped off at his flat yards from the Coronation Street set, but had to be taken to a hotel for the night after he locked himself out.
Liverpool-born Charles, who made his name playing Dave Lister in Red Dwarf, has hosted BBC2's Robot Wars and taken part in Channel 4's The Games.
Last year the married father-of-three joined the cast of Coronation Street playing cabbie Lloyd Mullaney.
The BBC and Coronation Street producers ITV Granada both said they would be looking into the allegations of drug taking by Charles.
A spokeswoman for Coronation Street said: "We will be seeing Craig to discuss the situation and we will be looking into the allegations."
A BBC spokeswoman said: "These are very serious allegations and we shall be talking to Craig Charles about them."
Charles was arrested in 1994 over accusations he raped an ex-girlfriend, but after spending several months in custody he was cleared following a trial at London's Southwark Crown Court.
Source: Daily Mail
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