Coronation Street stars gathered in Ashton-under-Lyne, Greater Manchester, on Tuesday (November 27, 2012) to pay their respects to the actor Bill Tarmey, who died earlier this month while holidaying with his family in Tenerife. Tarmey, 71, became one of television's most recognisable faces, playing Jack Duckworth for over 30 years.
According to Sky News, the ceremony at the Albion United Reformed Church was attended by the likes of Julie Goodyear, William Roache and Kevin Kennedy. Readings and tributes were given by Tarmey's granddaughter, grandson and Coronation Street co-stars Nigel Pivaro and Samia Ghandie. The actress - who plays Maria O'Connor - described Bill as "devoted to his family," adding, "He was genuinely one of the most decent and honourable men you could ever wish to meet. Jack and Vera were a truly unforgettable and formidable partnership, and I doubt we'll ever see that again. They were simply iconic and Jack Duckworth will forever be a true Coronation Street legend." A recording of Tarmey's track 'The Wind Beneath My Wings' was played at the funeral whilst a montage charting his career and life played on a screen, leaving the congregation in tears.
Tarmey - a former builder - worked as a singer in local nightclubs before landing his role on Coronation Street in 1979. A life-long smoker, he suffered with persistent heart problems though it was the ill health of his son that forced him to quit the soap in 2010.