Street's 'Jack Duckworth' dies

Maldon and Burnham Standard: Bill Tarmey became a household name playing lovable rogue Jack Duckworth in Coronation Street Bill Tarmey became a household name playing lovable rogue Jack Duckworth in Coronation Street

Coronation Street star Bill Tarmey, who played Jack Duckworth for many years, has died.

The 71-year-old left the soap in 2010 after more than 30 years playing the pigeon-fancying, loveable rogue alongside Liz Dawn, who played his wife Vera.

A life-long heavy smoker, he suffered a minor heart attack following a bypass operation in 2002.

A spokeswoman for Coronation Street announced his death. It is believed he died while on a family holiday in Tenerife.

Antony Cotton, who plays Sean Tully in the show, paid tribute on Twitter saying: "Goodnight Bill Tarmey. You were the best. We'll miss you so much x, " while Jack P Shepherd, who plays David Platt, tweeted: "Just heard the news about Bills death tragic news for everyone #RIPBILL".

Julie Goodyear, who starred in the show as Bet Lynch, said: "This news is so very sad, not just for me but for all his other friends and of course his wife Ali, and all his family.

"This wonderful man will be sadly missed."

A statement from the show said: "The cast, crew and production team at Coronation Street are devastated to hear of Bill's death. Our thoughts and prayers are with Bill's wife and soulmate Ali and their family at this very sad time."

His family asked "for privacy as they grieve for a wonderful husband, father and brother".

Tarmey's final scenes in the soap two years ago saw his character die peacefully in his armchair before he was seen sharing a last dance with Vera.

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