Michael Le Vells signs new contract for Coronation Street
Michael Le Vell is set to stay on 'Coronation Street' for at least another year.
The 51-year-old actor, who is known for portraying mechanic Kevin Webster, has reportedly signed a contract for an estimated £170,000 - £20,000 more than he was on last year - that will keep him on the soap until the end of 2017 after he convinced bosses that, although he's drinking occasionally, he's not returned to his boozy ways.
A source told The Sun newspaper: "Mike has steadied the ship that's for sure. He is more content with life than ever at the moment - happy with just about everything. OK he has gone back to the lager but it's nothing like it was and he has re-assured the 'Corrie' hierarchy it isn't a problem and they have accepted that.
"It's going to be another happy new year for him. They know he is a professional at work, always punctual and knows his lines off by heart which is a godsend to the production people."
Michael first joined the long-running programme in 1983 and, over the past 33 years, has been dished out a series of big storylines; including a romance with Anna Windass (Debbie Rush) and an affair with his best friend Tyrone Dobbs (Alan Halsall)'s then-wife Molly (Vicky Binns), which resulted in the birth of his son Jack.
However, Michael hasn't been on screen consistently as he took time off from the show in 2013 after he was accused of sexual assault, he was later cleared of the charges and briefly returned to the programme in March 2014 for a few episodes.
He then fled the cobbles again for a three-month stint in rehab after he became hooked on cocaine following the backlash of his sex assault trial.
He said at the time: "I've always been dead against drugs and have turned them down in the past. I've seen what they can do to people. But I had never felt so low. I knew I was innocent but everything was closing in on me.
"And when someone offered them to me, I just agreed. The first time I ever did cocaine was in the lead up to my trial. There were some bad influences around me and it felt like an escape. Now I'm so ashamed of what I did."