When Coronation Street legend Bill Tarmey – who played the role of Jack Duckworth – passed away, viewers around the nation were saddened by the news, but of course, his family and friends were especially hard-hit by Bill’s death, and among that number was Liz Dawn, who of course played the role of Jack’s long-suffering wife Vera.
For decades Jack and Vera entertained us with their volatile and at times disastrous marriage, but despite all the odds, they actually managed to defy the curse of soap marriages everywhere and stayed together for the rest of their lives.
Off-screen, both Bill and Liz were suffering ill health, and when Dawn announced her retirement, the powers that be wrote her exit in as one of the saddest deaths in the shows history, leaving poor Jack devastated.
So when Tarmey then announced his decision to retire a few years later, Jack was killed off in very similar circumstances, but as a lovely mark of respect to their wonderful time together, they brought Liz back to play a ghost version of Vera who came to collect Jack as he passed away.
It wasn’t long after this when Tarmey’s health took a turn for the worse, and he died while at his Tenerife holiday home.
Now, still battling emphysema, and having had a pacemaker fitted, Dawn has revealed – during a recent celebrity version of the Jeremy Kyle Show – how fond she was of Bill, and how much she still misses him, especially as she had expected them to die together.
She explained: “I thought we’d go together because we were both bad [in terms of our health].
“When Bill and I had scenes and he saw I was bad, he’d say, ‘I’ll do it and you sit down’. And I would do it for him.
“We were brilliant together… He was my favourite person on Corrie, but I always had to hit him…
“I used to say ‘Bill, I’ve got the script for next week and I’ve got to hit you. ‘Oh don’t worry’, he would say. ‘I’ll duck’. But he never did.
“I miss him, I really do.”
Coronation Street continues tomorrow night at 8.30pm on ITV1 / ITV1 HD – Watch Dawn and Tarmey’s final scene together in the clip below: