Actor Bill Tarmey first appeared as Jack Duckworth in Coronation Streetin November 1979, when his formidable on-screen wife Vera dragged him to Brian and Gail Tilsley's wedding, only to have him sneak off for a pint at the first opportunity.
After playing what is arguably the nation's best-loved soap character for 31 years, Bill leaves the series in December 2010. To coincide with this momentous event in soap history, Bill now tells the full story of what it has been like to play this loveable rogue for almost half his life. He reveals the hilarious on-set japes behind the scenes - such as getting fits of the giggles with Curly Watts and Alec Gilroy, what it was like playing the Romeo to Bet Lynch and Dulcie Froggat, plus the more emotional times such as when Bernard Youens, who played Stan Ogden, died.
There is also the fascinating story of Bill's early years growing up in the streets of post-war Manchester, with bombsites for playgrounds and an ex-Navy grandpa who taught him how to box. Destined to become a master asphalter like his Dad, Bill never gave up his love of singing, and by the late 1960s he had made a name for himself in the unforgiving environment of the Working Men's Club circuit. Taking work as a TV extra, Bill soon found himself treading the famous cobbled streets, and was a natural in his newly created role of Jack, which has been uncanny in mirroring Bill's own life for its lurches of fortune.
Packed with anecdotes to delight both Corrie fans and lovers of British TV everywhere, this warm-hearted and substantial autobiography is THE soap star memoir the country has been waiting for. They will not be disappointed.