Updated: Saturday, 22nd February 2020 @ 5:50am

Saying goodbye to Jack Duckworth: Thousands to attend Coronation Street star Bill Tarmey's funeral in Manchester

Saying goodbye to Jack Duckworth: Thousands to attend Coronation Street star Bill Tarmey's funeral in Manchester

By Dean Wilkins

Thousands of celebrities and fans will turn out to pay their respects to the late Bill Tarmey, better known as Coronation Street’s Jack Duckworth, whose funeral takes place in East Manchester today.

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

Tarmey was eventually 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.

Following his death, a spokesman for Corrie 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.”

Tarmey’s funeral will take place in his hometown of Ashton-under-Lyne and huge numbers of people are expected to turn out and say a final goodbye.

The service takes place at the Albion United Reform Church from 1pm and his wife of 50 years, Alison, is expected to lead tributes.

Antony Cotton, who plays Sean Tully, said: “Goodnight Bill Tarmey. You were the best. We'll miss you so much x.”

Charlie Condou, who plays Marcus Dent, said: “I am devastated to hear that the wonderful Bill Tarmey has died. He was a beautiful, funny and lovely man, and he will be missed by us all.”

Michelle Keegan said: “Bill Tarmey, an honour to of met such a lovely man. True gent, utter legend. Today's a sad day.”