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Coronation Street Star Bill Tarmey Dies
Former Coronation Street star Bill Tarmey, who played loveable rogue Jack Duckworth in the show, has died.
A spokeswoman for the soap opera said Tarmey, 71, who featured as the long-suffering husband of Vera, died in Tenerife while on holiday.
The actor's family confirmed the news and said in a statement: "The family of Bill Tarmey have confirmed that he sadly passed away this morning in Tenerife. They have respectfully asked the media for privacy as they grieve for a wonderful husband, father and brother."
And the star's former colleagues issued their own statement: "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 was a native Mancunian. He started out working as a builder and began his showbiz career singing in working men's clubs.
He joined Coronation Street as an extra in 1977 but show bosses spotted his potential and two years later he landed the role that made him famous.
He left the soap in 2010 after more than 30 years playing the pigeon-fancying, loveable rogue alongside Liz Dawn, who played his wife Vera.
He was dogged by ill-health, having suffered a heart attack at the age of 35, and then a stroke a year later.
A lifelong smoker, he underwent a quadruple heart bypass 15 years ago and another bypass operation in June 2002.
Corrie stars have been adding their own tributes on Twitter.
Antony Cotton, who plays Sean Tully in the show, tweeted: "Goodnight Bill Tarmey. You were the best. We'll miss you so much x"
Catherine Tyldesley, who plays Eva in the show, said: "So sad to hear that Bill Tarmey has died. #legend #RIPBILL. My deepest sympathies to all who knew him best xxx".