Coronation Street star Bill Tarmey has admitted that he feels guilty that some of his former cast-mates lost their jobs in the recent tram crash storyline, because the whole thing was his idea.
The 70 year old actor played street resident Jack Duckworth for 31 years and decided to leave the ITV soap last year because of his own and his son’s health problems. He came up with the idea of a huge scale disaster when talking to producer Phil Collinson about his own exit, but in the end it was Ashley Peacock (Steven Arnold) and Molly Dobbs (Vicky Binns) that got killed off.
Writing in the new paperback version of his life story – Jack Duckworth And Me – Bill revealed: “Phil asked me if there was any particular way I’d like to be written out of the show. I hadn’t given it any thought as I wasn’t expecting the question.
“I said jokingly that I could come out of Dev’s shop and get squished by a derailed tram.
“I told Phil he could get rid of a few others at the same time in the fatal crash. I thought he realised I wasn’t serious.
“It was while I was preparing for Jack’s death that I read to my horror about a tram crash that was going to cause death and destruction in Weatherfield. I’d realised that I’d sown the seeds of a plot in Phil Collinson’s mind. Instead of using a tram crash to kill me off, he had decided to take my idea and use it for the deaths of others.
“It’s a burden I’ll have to take to the grave.”
Bill went on: “I just hope the victims of the tram crash will forgive me for opening my big gob.
“There must have been cast and colleagues under sentence of death who thought, ‘Thanks a lot, Tarmey’.
“Luckily, I was out of there before the dead men walking discovered my casual suggestion to Phil had been taken to heart.”
Bill recently revealed that he needs urgent heart surgery and will be going into hospital within the next number of weeks.