Corrie: Julie Goodyear on how she tricked Bill Tarmey into his first scenes

by Lynn Connolly

Former Coronation Street star has revealed that she had to “trick” her co-star Bill Tarmey into playing his first scenes on the show as he was crippled by nerves.

Bill of course passed away last week at his home in Tenerife, and Julie made her remarks about him during an interview with the Radio Times about the legendary actor who of course played the role of Jack Duckworth on the soap.

Julie, who played brassy barmaid Bet Lynch – and who recently took part in Celebrity Big Brother – said, “I can remember one of the very first scenes I did with Bill on Coronation Street.

“He was terribly nervous and I did something very unprofessional: I had a quiet word with the floor manager and asked him not to announce that we were going for a take…

“I knew, in my heart, that if Bill could get one take under his belt then his confidence would soar.

“So Bill, thinking it was a rehearsal, was absolutely wonderful. And afterwards, his nerves kicked in again and he said, ‘Oh Jules. We have to do a take now. I hope I’m half as good as that.’

“And I said, ‘Billy, that was a take’ and he threw his arms around me. He never forgot that.

“Afterwards the nerves went away and he made Jack Duckworth a fantastic character.”

Julie went on to reveal that she and Bill kept in close contact after she left the show.

She said, “We never lost touch. Never. He was very much the family man. His wife Ali was his absolute soulmate.

“And don’t forget that he also had this beautiful singing voice – when he had his This Is Your Life, he sang The Wind Beneath My Wings to Ali and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.

“He adored his family and his wife. In fact, it was their golden anniversary this year. So the news of his death is so very sad.”

Indeed it is. Here’s a reminder of one of Julie and Bill’s Corrie scenes…

Lynn is an editor and writer here at Unreality TV and is trained psychotherapist and the author of two books. She's addicted to soaps, period drama and reality TV shows such as X Factor, I'm A Celeb and Big Brother.