Coronation Street star Michael Le Vell has told how he was "delighted" to have been "completely exonerated" after he was cleared of child sex allegations following a police investigation.
The star - who has played mechanic Kevin Webster for nearly 30 years - said he was now planning to carry on working and put the incident behind him.
Michael, 46, was arrested and interviewed after allegations were made against him of a sexual assault, which was alleged to have taken place a number of years ago.
But Greater Manchester Police announced last week that the case would not be pursued.
Speaking for the first time about the case, Michael paid tribute to the police for their "thorough" investigation. And he thanked the public and his colleagues for their support.
In a statement issued today, he said: "Following the conclusion of the police enquiry into allegations that have been widely publicised in the national press, I would like to acknowledge and give thanks to the Greater Manchester Police for the fair, thorough and independent investigation that they have conducted.
"I have maintained my innocence throughout and I am delighted to be completely exonerated by the decision that there will be no further action taken in this matter."
He continued: "I would like to thank the public sincerely for their loyal support during what has been a most difficult and upsetting phase in my life.
"I also want to give special thanks to my colleagues on Coronation Street and ITV Studios and ITV for their unwavering support of me."
The father of two, who lives in Hale, Cheshire, was first held in September. Police announced last week that investigation lawyers had decided there was not enough evidence to charge him after a file was sent to the Crown Prosecution Service.