As fans of former Corrie star Bill Tarmey – who of course played lovable rogue Jack Duckworth – will most likely know, Bill was laid to rest in his hometown of Ashton-under-Lyne yesterday, and hundreds of mourners lined the streets leading to Albion United Reformed Church to pay their last respects to the actor.
Among the mourners attending the service were of course a number of Bill’s former co-stars, including Liz Dawn who played Jack’s wife Vera, and Nigel Pivaro, who played Jack and Vera’s son Terry.
Samia Ghadie, who plays Maria Connor, paid tribute to Bill during the service, saying of him, “He made me laugh so much that on ¬occasions I’d be crying with laughter.
“He was wise, kind, honest, warm-hearted and had the most generous spirit…
“In my early days he was like a surrogate dad to me. He taught me how to be professional and good to others.”
She added, “Jack and Vera were a truly unforgettable and formidable partnership, and I doubt we’ll ever see that again.
“Liz [Dawn], I know, is devastated by Bill’s loss. He was so kind to her during her last filming days.”
Glancing at Bill’s coffin, she tearfully concluded, “Bill, we salute you.”
Nigel then spoke about Bill, saying, “There is a bit of Jack Duckworth in all of us men, frustration and thwarted ambition, you know the rest.
“But behind the character was the man. Bill’s huge generosity of spirit, his warmth, his wit, his patience, his wisdom.
“We will keep those qualities in our hearts. They will stay with us forever. That will be his lasting legacy.”
ITV reports that after Nigel’s moving words, Bill’s coffin was carried out of the church as mourners clapped in tribute to the star.
Here’s a clip of part of the emotional service…
What a sad loss. Rest in peace Bill.