Coronation Street star Chris Fountain has been suspended from the soap after filming a series of offensive rap videos and posting them on Youtube.
The 25-year-old actor has played the role of mechanic Tommy Duckworth in the long-running serial since 2011.
The videos show Fountain as his masked alter-ego ‘The Phantom’ – in the company of friends – whilst performing the offensive raps which include lyrics about violence and rape.
The Sun brought the videos to the attention of the ITV soap’s bosses who have taken the decision to suspend him.
The remorseful actor states that the videos were filmed “over a year ago”.
I would like to sincerely apologise for any offence I have caused. I am deeply ashamed by the lyrics and very much regret my behaviour.
The videos were made over a year ago when I was experimenting with music and I’ve done anything like it since and nor will I. – Fountain
But he has been blasted by a rape charity over the raps after one boasted of raping a woman.
Chief exec of The Survivors Trust, Fay Maxted, told The Sun:
This is absolutely shocking. He is a high-profile character. It shows a complete lack of any kind of respect for women at all. He is a role model for young people. It almost seems like he’s making a joke of something that really isn’t funny.
Confirming the actor’s suspension, ITV have issued a statement stating they found the language used “unacceptable” and that they would be looking into the matter further.