Chris Fountain, an actor known for portraying Tommy Duckswoth on the long-running soap opera Coronation Street, has been suspended from the show after his reveal as the masked rapper, The Phantom. Alter egos might generally be a bit passé at this point, but Fountain’s gig on the side was controversial enough to land him in hot water with the family friendly programme.

Chris Fountain, The British Soap Awards 2013
Fountain made and released the recordings a year ago.

The recordings, which started the fire were reportedly made a year ago, but only recently saw the light of day. The videos, along with pictures of the mysterious rapper were first posted on the blog of hip hop group West Yorkshire Cypher (Fountain hails from Brandford) and the videos have now (mostly) been made private. However, this was not until The Sun managed to reveal the actor’s secret identity and reach out to his employers. Fountain himself has apologized and claimed he was “deeply ashamed” of the offensive lyrics. His raps often featured references to rape, drug abuse and violence. In a statement, quoted by The Independent, the actor claimed: “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.“

Chris Fountain, Dynamo Release Party
The Phantom's identity remained secret until just this week.

The videos were made over a year ago when I was experimenting with music and I've not done anything like it since and nor will I.” Unfortunately for Fountain, ITV has taken the matter very seriously, with a spokeswoman for Coronation Street announcing that the actor will be suspended from the series, with further inquiries into the matter still pending.

Watch The Phantom rap below. Content warning: features references to rape, violence and substance abuse.

Meanwhile, The Phantom’s crude lyrics have attracted vehement criticism from anti-rape organisations and public figures, such as conservative MP Priti Patel, who told The Sun: ”This is an appalling revelation that shows a lack of respect, regard and understanding of the crime of rape. This guy is trying to trivialise it. He should know much better.“

Chris Fountain, British Soap Awards 2012
The actor has issued an official apology.