In one of the most emotional scenes ever seen on the long-running soap, Jack Duckworth passed away in the same armchair in which his wife Vera (played by Liz Dawn) died in 2008.
As he drifts in and out of consciousness, Vera "appears" at his side to help him cross into the afterlife. In typical Vera Duckworth style, she chastises him for his scruffy appearance before the couple perform a waltz to the Matt Monro song Softly As I Leave You, which Jack was listening to on the vintage record player he got for his birthday. It was all, of course, a figment of Jack's imagination during his last moments.
Moments later, a stunned Tyrone (Jack and Vera's adopted son), Tyrone's girlfriend Molly and Jack's lady friend Connie return from the Rovers Return to find Jack dead in the chair .
Jack passed away from cancer on his 74th birthday just after he was given a surprise party by his friends and neighbours at the Rovers Return.
Before the party, Jack was heartbroken when he found out that Molly and Tyrone's baby son, Jack, is actually the child of car mechanic Kevin Webster. Tyrone has still to find out the truth.
Bill Tarmey, 69, who was a cabaret singer before joining the soap, has played Jack since 1979, six months after Thatcher came to power, although he first appeared in the soap as an extra.
Jack and his "little swampduck" Vera were undoubtedly one of soap's greatest double acts, and the pair provided Corrie fans with many hilarious storylines over the years. One of the most memorable came in 1983, when he was caught by Vera using a video dating agency and passing himself off as "Vince St. Clair." She exacted revenge by embarassing him in the Rovers return in front of the many customers. But despite all their rows, the couple loved each other dearly.
Coronation Street, popular also in Canada, Australia and New Zealand, is the world's longest-running TV soap opera and celebrates its 50th birthday next month.
Coronation Street's Jack Duckworth is helped into the soap afterlife by late wife Vera as he dies peacefully in his chair
By Georgina Littlejohn
8th November 2010
They were married for just over 50 years and became one of soap's most lovable couples until her death in 2008.
So it comes as no surprise that Vera Duckworth is reunited with husband Jack in the afterlife in poignant scenes to be shown on Coronation Street tonight.
As Jack lies dying in his favourite armchair in his house on the famous cobbled street, he is visited by Vera who helps him cross into the afterlife to join her there.
Reunited: As Jack Duckworth, played by Bill Tarmey, passes away in his armchair, he sees his late wife Vera who helps him cross into the afterlife
The soap stalwart, played by Bill Tarmey, dies peacefully in the same armchair in which his wife, played by Liz Dawn, passed away almost three years ago in January 2008, and as he drifts in and out of consciousness she 'appears' at his side.
Just as she did in life, Vera chastises him for his scruffy appearance before 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.
Hello, duck: Vera hugs her husband... before berating him for looking scruffy
Last dance: Jack and Vera hold each other close as they sway to the Matt Monro song Softly As I Leave You
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 surrogate father'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.
Time to go, darling: Jack and Vera share one last kiss
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.'
Devastated: Tyrone Dobbs finds Jack dead in his armchair, the same one Vera passed away in in January 2008
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.'
Cheers! Jack and Vera behind the bar at the Rovers Return pub in 1995 just after buying it. They ran it for a year.
VINCE ST. CLAIR, 1983
In one of the funniest storylines in the soap, Jack enrols with a video dating agency, referring to himself as "Vince St. Clair" and obtains a white suit, gold medallion and phony trans-Atlantic accent. Unknown to Jack, his wife Vera is also trying to find a date at the video dating agency. She refers to herself as "Carole Munroe", and is shocked when she sees Jack's video. To get her revenge, she arranges to meet him in the Rovers Return Inn, wearing a ginger wig, claiming to be a rich widow. With her back turned to him, Jack goes over to her to introduce himself. When she turns around, Jack is horrified to see his wife staring back at him and she chases him out of the pub much to the amusement of the other customers.