For the best part of 30 years, the Duckworths were the family on whom everyone else could look down. Like the Ogdens who came before them and the Windasses who came after, Jack and Vera were always deemed to be more common than their neighbours, mainly thanks to the stone-cladding that they fixed to number 9 Coronation Street and the loft full of pigeons in the back yard.
But there was true pathos to Jack and Vera’s relationship. Despite Jack spending years trying to avoid Vera’s sexual advances and Vera passing an equal amount of time fretting about her husband’s chronic work-shy nature and general fecklessness, theirs was a marriage that endured down the decades despite countless trials and tribulations.
So to mark Bill Tarmey’s passing at the age of 71, we present the best of Jack and Vera from their Coronation Street years.
Vince St Clair: when Bet joins a dating agency, she’s surprised to see a tape of Jack disguised as medallion-man lounge lizard Vince St Clair. Bet then persuades Vera to join as Carole Munro and sneakily arranges a date between the pair.
Let’s talk about sex: where would Corrie be without wives trying to convince their husbands that they’re more beautiful than they actually are and husbands pretending to be more virile than they actually are? Here, the Duckys talk about bedroom gymnastics.
Ida Fag: it’s an image to haunt your dreams – Jack in drag as Ida Fag, a surprise member of the ladies’ bowling team brought in to bolster their chances in 2004.
Vera’s death: it was the house move that was never to be. The Duckworths looked set to leave Weatherfield and move to Blackpool, but plans to relocate came to an abrupt end when Jack’s wife Vera died in her armchair. Jack’s tragic discovery highlights just how heartfelt Bill Tarmey’s relationship was with his on-screen wife Liz Dawn.
Jack and Betty: a short time before his death, and in the full knowledge that he has a terminal illness, Jack compliments Betty on a lifetime of hot pots at the Rovers.
Jack’s death: and here they are – Jack’s final moments, reunited with his Vera for one last dance.
Sign up to the Radio Times newsletter for the latest TV and entertainment news