If you have a story call our newsdesk on 01722 426511 or email us. To advertise call 01722 426500.
Fred Talbot denies boy sex charges
TV weatherman Fred Talbot has pleaded not guilty to a series of historic sex offences.
The 64-year-old stood in the dock, hands clasped in front of him as he repeated "Not guilty" 10 times to each of the charges put to him at Minshull Street Crown Court, Manchester.
Talbot, who was a regular on the floating weather map in Liverpool's Albert Dock for ITV's This Morning, is accused of nine counts of indecent assault and one count of buggery.
The former teacher from Bowdon, south Manchester, is alleged to have committed the offences between October 25 1968 and August 2 1983 against five male complainants, three of whom were under 16.
Talbot, who is on bail, was seated in the dock for most of the 20-minute hearing, listening intently as lawyers set a date for his trial, scheduled for January 19 next year.
The first six charges are all indecent assaults, relating to one complainant, a boy aged under 16 at the time, and include alleged offences of masturbation, oral sex and digital penetration, all taking place between October 25 1969 and October 24 1970.
The remaining charges are: an allegation of indecent assault, by masturbation, on a male under 16, between January 1 1975 and December 31 1976; the same offence against another male under 16 between the same dates; and indecent assault by sexual touching on a fourth complainant between January 1 1977 and December 31 1977.
The final count of buggery is said to have occurred against the fifth complainant, aged under 21 at the time, on or around August 2 1983.
None of the complainants can be identified for legal reasons.
Judge Jeffrey Lewis granted Talbot bail until a further preliminary hearing on May 27.
Talbot nodded before leaving the dock as he was told he was free to go.
His bail conditions are that he must live at his home address, and that he has no contact with witnesses and alleged victims, nor any unsupervised contact with a child.