CHARLES GRAHAM - Irreplaceable screen icon

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JACK Duckworth was one of the great TV characters.

Hen-pecked, unreliable, loveable, he was a soap figure that folk could sympathise with and both laugh at and with.

I’m not much of a soap fan but I would always stop to watch if Bill Tarmey was on because he was so effortlessly good and entertaining.

He was one of those actors that was so accomplished that you forgot it was someone playing a role.

My mate the jazz band leader and singer Andy Prior did a theatre tour with him as a guest performer in the 1990s and Andy confirms all the other tributes from people who knew the actor and singer that Mr Tarmey was a lovely man off-screen.

Corrie fans are already complaining that the soap is short of older comedy characters which for so long were key to its popularity.

The show will do miraculously well to find anyone to match Jack Duckworth and Bill Tarmey.