Bill Tarmey, one of the best loved faces in long-running soap Coronation Street, has died peacefully today, aged 71, according to a statement, released by his family.

Bill was best known for playing fictional loveable rogue, Jack Duckworth, alongside his screen wife Vera, who he called ‘his little turtle dove’ in one of the most volatile, fiery, yet tender relationships in any soap - that saw them battle with their wayward son, Terry, Jack’s attempted infidelities and the highs and lows of any long-term married couple.

Tarmey, 71, left the soap in 2010, due to ill health, after more than 30 years on the show. Tarmey was reunited with his nagging on-screen wife Vera, played by Liz Dawn, for his emotional finale from the soap. The actress had left the show two years before, because of her ill health, when Vera was seen dying in the same armchair as Jack. However, Jack's final scenes showed her appearing at his side and saw the pair dancing together, as he drifted in and out of consciousness.

A statement from Coronation Street said the cast, crew and production team were "devastated" to learn of his death.

His family have asked for "privacy as they grieve for a wonderful husband, father and brother."

Written and presented by Ann Salter.