A London court has set a preliminary trail date of April 30 for Rolf Harris's sex abuse trial.

Harris, 83, has been charged with nine charges of indecent assault involving two complainants dating back to the 1980s.

He is also facing four charges of making indecent images of children relating to alleged incidents last year.

The veteran entertainer will first face a plea hearing on January 14, when his defence has indicated he will plead not guilty.

Most of the charges carry maximum sentences of five years, while some carry a maximum of 10.

The London court excused Harris from attending Monday's hearing.

However, the ABC's Europe correspondent, Barbara Miller, told ABC News 24 that Harris is expected to appear at the plea hearing.

"We had been expecting him to come, [but] just a few days ago we heard he requested not to attend and the judge agreed to that request," she told ABC News 24.

"Last time he appeared two weeks ago at Westminster Magistrates' Court, he was subject to a media scrum as he made his way from the court with his wife. He made his way very slowly. He has been spared that experience today and was not required to attend.

"There is a couple of more procedural matters between now and January - case management issues. But, of course, we expect to see him in the middle of January for that plea hearing."

 

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