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Moving scene as Jack Duckworth dies

Jack Duckworth is finally reunited with his beloved Vera in moving scenes on Monday night as he bows out of Coronation Street.

The soap stalwart, played by Bill Tarmey, dies peacefully in the same armchair in which his wife passed away three years ago - and as he drifts in and out of consciousness she "appears" at his side.

And just as she did in life, Vera (Liz Dawn) chastises him for his scruffy appearance. Then the couple have one final dance to the Matt Monro song Softly As I Leave You.

Moments later, a stunned Tyrone, Molly and Connie return from the Rovers Return to find Jack dead in the chair.

For weeks a dying Jack has been acting as Weatherfield's secret millionaire - helping local residents with gifts and acts of kindness.

After discovering he had terminal cancer, Jack decided to come back to Weatherfield to live out his final days among his friends and neighbours, and devastated Tyrone has been struggling with his friend's secret.

Tarmey planned to leave the show more than a year ago but was persuaded to stay and be part of the 50th anniversary celebrations.

Coronation Street executive producer Kieran Roberts said: "Bill Tarmey and Jack Duckworth have been a huge part of Coronation Street for 30 years and, like his many millions of fans, everyone who works on the show with Bill were sad to see him go. That said we fully respect Bill's decision to retire and we were determined to make sure his character's send off was fitting for one of the show's all-time greats."

Tarmey added: "People often ask me if I like Jack Duckworth and I always reply - 'Like him, I bloody love him!' I have had the most amazing 30 years playing Jack. Because of him I have made some fantastic friends and travelled all over the world and I will be sorry to say goodbye to Jack.

"I had originally wanted to retire last year but producer Kim Crowther and my wife Ally persuaded me to stay for the show's 50th anniversary and I am glad that I made that decision. I have had some great storylines over the past three decades and Jack's final story is a poignant fitting ending to a great character."

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