Corrie legend left to support son with brain tumour

Carl comforts Bill during the emotional interview. Credit: ITV Granada

One of Corrie's oldest characters has revealed why he made the heart-breaking decision to leave the nation's favourite street after 31 years.

In an emotional interview Bill Tarmey has told ITV Granada how he left to care for his son Carl, who was battling a life-threatening brain tumour and is still having treatment.

It was widely believed that Tarmey retired from the soap because of concerns over his own health.

Bill said: "That wasn't the main thing. I left because my son was very, very poorly. I wanted to be with my family."

His son became disoriented when performing everyday tasks. He then began having seizures, which a scan later revealed to be caused by a glioma.

Bill described how his son had a "funny do" whilst he visited him in hospital. Carl had suffered a serious seizure.

Bill continued: "I finished up shouting at the nurses to come and see to him. He was leaping about like a salmon. This was my man, my boy.

"I would say in ten days I aged ten years. I stopped singing and I said to Coronation Street I'm sorry, I'm leaving.

"If this hadn't happened they would've had to drag me out of there screaming. It was a wonderful bloody job, especially for an old coffin-dodger like me.

"I was going into work and I'd be doing a scene and I just started crying. We'd already lost one member of the family with the same complaint.

"Most of my grandchildren must've thought what's the matter with that old man in the corner, screaming at shouting at God. Anyway, he must've heard me. He's still here," he whispered.

Bill held back tears as Carl comforted him during the interview at the pub he and his wife Sandra run in Ashton-under-Lyne.

Carl said: "I went for the results and they told me it wasn't benign, which we were all hoping. It was very aggressive. That was a real kick.

"I asked the doctor how long have I got. He said if your treatment doesn't work, twelve months. If it does work, up to five years.

"It'll never go away, they've told me that. All I can do is keep going and keep smiling."

The father and son explained how three people from the pub Carl runs had suffered from brain tumours. They also expressed their frustration about a lack of funds for research.

Carl continued: "One little lad, Thomas, he passed away. Another friend of mine, Phil, he's passed away. And myself. That's in one pub."

Bill asked: "So why is the money not there for them?"

The Tarmey family are now working to raise money for Brain Tumour Research.