The regular has bowed out of the ITV Granada production.

It was the end of an era last night as Jack Duckworth, played by Bill Tarmey, bowed out from the show after 30 years.

The first outing for Coronation Street at 7.30pm attracted 10.8 million viewers as the party began for Jack’s birthday. At 8.30pm, 11 million tuned in to see Jack confront Molly about the paternity of baby Jack, before wishing all well and heading home. As Jack fell asleep he met Vera in his dream who got up and danced with him.

Vera Duckworth, played by Liz Dawn, left the show in 2008 due to suffering health problems in real life. Her exit was seen by 12.5 million viewers.

The Duckworh family, with son Terry, moved into Number 9 in the early 1970s with Jack having first been seen in 1979 and Vera as a factory worker since 1974. Jack was a work-shy cellar-man for much of his time in the Weatherfield saga, however later following a cash windfall ended up for a spell as the first none-brewery owners of the Rovers Return Inn where he’d spent years working under previous Newton and Ridley manager, later tenant, Bet Gilroy.

The couple often were at the short end of life’s joys mostly brought about by wayward Terry, who over the years brought heartaches by selling his child, going awol from prision – escaping on his wedding day and offering to be a kidney donor to another one of his children – but only for a price.

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