Updated: Sunday, 12th July 2020 @ 9:02am

'I love you pal': Coronation Street stars pay tribute to legendary Manchester actor Bill Tarmey at National TV Awards

'I love you pal': Coronation Street stars pay tribute to legendary Manchester actor Bill Tarmey at National TV Awards

By Dean Wilkins

Legendary Manchester soap star Bill Tarmey was remembered as his former colleagues at Coronation Street scooped two prizes at the National Television Awards last night.

The iconic actor who was one half of legendary on-screen couple Jack and Vera Duckworth (Liz Dawn) and stayed on the show for more than 30 years after first appearing as an extra.

Weatherfield’s creators and cast fended off stiff competition from Eastenders, Emmerdale and young pretenders Hollyoaks to take the crown of best serial drama.

While Tarmey’s on-screen foster son Tyrone Dobbs, played by Alan Halsall, picked up the award for best serial drama performance.

Halsall paid tribute to Tarmey, who died in Tenerife last November, saying: “I love you pal.”

“He'll be having a pint of Guinness for me and his wife asked me to wear his watch tonight so I've got it on.

"He guided me literally from the start of my career at Corrie and was such a huge influence on my life like a second dad on screen. He'd be laughing at this right now, he used to say, 'none of that bloody acting'."

After Corrie took the night’s main award, the show’s producer Phil Collinson also hailed the Ashton-born star.

"This year we lost a stalwart of Coronation Street who was just so much a part of everybody's life for a long time, Bill Tarmey, and so I think we'd love to dedicate this to Bill,” he said during his acceptance speech.

Tarmey was forced to leave Weatherfield due to health problems in 2010 – his passing while asleep in his armchair was watched by nearly 12million – and he died while on holiday in Tenerife, aged 71, on November 9.

Image courtesy of ITV, with thanks

For more on this story and many others, follow Mancunian Matters on Twitter and Facebook.