Jack and Vera's flammable first scene

Coronation Street actor Bill Tarmey

Bill Tarmey

'Coronation Street' actor Bill Tarmey - who plays Jack Duckworth in the ITV1 soap - has revealed he accidentally set fire to his on-screen wife during their first scene together.

Coronation Street's Bill Tarmey accidentally set fire to his on-screen wife during their first scene.

The 69-year-old actor - who has played Jack Duckworth in the ITV1 soap since 1979 - revealed the first time he met co-star Liz Dawn (Vera Duckworth), he accidentally sent her up in flames while he was smoking a cigarette.

He explained: "Both of us were sucking on cigs, so I didn't spot the smoke at first, but then the smell of burning material just hit me. Without further ado, I hurled Liz to the ground and started slapping her backside to put out the flames.

"She was screaming - we'd only just met and she must have thought I was an absolute manic. But it certainly managed to break the ice!"

However, the actor - who has bowed out of the soap as part of its 50th anniversary storylines after suffering from health problems - admitted if the duo hadn't hit it off they would never have become the 'Corrie' legends they are today, and he would have probably continued acting as an extra.

Bill added to Inside Soap magazine: "If we'd not clicked in the way we did, you'd never have seen me again - or I'd still be throwing darts in the Rovers. We've been good friends ever since.

"One of the nicest things Liz ever said to me is, 'Eh Kid, we've grown old together'. And she's right, we have. She's the funniest person I've ever worked with."


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