The irrepressible Bill Tarmey, who played Jack Duckworth, has died aged 71.
Bill's family confirmed that he sadly passed away this morning, respectfully asking the media for privacy as they grieve for a "wonderful husband, father and brother."
After three decades on Coronation Street, Bill's iconic portrayal of Jack will be forever remembered.
Michael Le Vell who plays Kevin had this to say: "When my Dad passed away Bill became like a surrogate Dad to me. He and Liz looked after me and got me through those early days and we've been friends ever since. My heart goes out to Ali and his family. We knew Bill was poorly, but this is still a very great shock. I am going to miss him very much."
"I am devastated to learn of the passing of someone who became a huge part of both my professional and personal life, who I came to look on as a second father." Added Nigel Pivaro who plays his on-screen son Terry.
"He was a lovely man who cared deeply for his family and friends. We are all rightly bereft at the loss we will feel knowing that the world will be a little poorer without Bill to lighten it up with his warm humour."
Samia Ghadie (Maria) shared that, “Bill was one of those people who after meeting once you felt like you had known him your whole life. A very special, funny, wise and kind man. I will cherish my memories of him. Sending all my love and thoughts to Ali and the family. Love you Bill xx”
Jennie McAlpine, who plays Fiz said, “Very sad to hear the news about Bill Tarmey. I feel so honoured to have known and worked with him. He was a true great.”
And, Jane Danson remembered: "Bill was one of the loveliest men you could ever wish to meet. He was the first to come over on my first day at work. It was quite daunting meeting icons like Bill and Liz but they made me feel very welcome and at home. Everyone felt as if they knew Bill because he had such a warmth about him on and off screen."
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.