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Monday 12 November 2012

My favourite Jack Duckworth moments

With the very sad news that Bill Tarmey has passed away at the age of 71, I wanted to pay my own tribute to the great man by looking back at some of his best on screen moments. 

Jack Duckworth was always one of my favourite characters. Jack and Vera were great at broad comedy, all the fights and marital troubles played out in front of millions for over thirty years. However there was also a lot of subtlety in Bill's acting, best demonstrated in quiet moments where Jack showed his love both for his Vee and Tyrone, the son they wished they'd had. 

Here are some of my favourite Jack Duckworth moments.

Vince St Clair 

Who could forget this hilarious storyline from 1983? With Jack doing his best as a cut-price lothario, Vera tried to beat him at his own game by joining the same video dating agency. Egged on by Bet Lynch, Vera posed as "Carole Munroe" and arranged a date with "Vince" in the Rovers. With all the Rovers regulars looking on, Jack got more than he bargained for when his hot date turned out to be Vera going at him at full pelt! Classic Coronation Street comedy which is as funny today as it was then.

When Terry sold Tommy

One of the Duckworths' strongest stories during their time in Coronation Street involved the sale of their grandson Tommy to the Hortons. Jack and Vera had been left to bring up Tommy after his mother Lisa was knocked down in the street. Despite finding it hard work, they both doted on their grandchild. However, son Terry saw the opportunity to profit from their situation and sold Tommy to his other grandparents, the more affluent Jeff and Doreen Horton. These scenes, broadcast over Christmas 1993, were very strong and incredibly moving. I will never forget the moment Jack punched Terry, disowning him. 

Ida Fagg

A more recent memory this one, but the image of Jack Duckworth in drag is a lasting one to say the least! In 2004 Jack was forced to drag up as Ida Fagg in order to help the Rovers' Ladies' bowls team. Poor Vera was in for a shock, but apparently Bill Tarmey loved dressing up as Ida! 

Jack loses Vera

When Vera died in 2008, we all prepared ourselves for very difficult scenes. In my opinion Bill Tarmey gave the performance of his life. His grief for Vera was real, as while his character mourned the death of his onscreen wife, you could sense real emotion in his performance as a brilliant partnership was brought to an end. Bill's understated, totally believable acting in these scenes captured the moment perfectly with quiet dignity. 


Apart from Vera and his beloved pigeons, Jack also had a great onscreen partnership with Tyrone. I loved their father/son relationship. It was both hilarious and deeply touching. I hope we see elements of Jack in Tyrone in the years to come. 

There will never be another Jack Duckworth. And there will never be another Bill Tarmey. 

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1 comment:

Janice said...

I always enjoyed his relationships with his pigeons. As an animal lover I found his tenderness towards them moving. The actor must have had a genuine for these gentle birds. It is what made Jack lovable for me.


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