Ta-Ra Love; Jack in Shock at Vera Death in Poignant Soap Scenes

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Byline: By Rick Fulton

SOAP fans should brace themselves for the mother of all tear-jerkers tonight when Coronation Street legend Vera Duckworth dies.

Scenes of husband Jack staring in disbelief as undertakers carry off his beloved "Vee" are among the most heartbreaking in the show's history.

Just hours before the bombshell, an excited Vera and Jack had been planning the final details of their move to Blackpool, where they were to start a new life.

Details of how Vera dies have been kept under wraps. Three different endings were written and the final scenes were filmed in secret on a closed set last month.

Only those involved in the scenes know which ending was chosen.

Liz Dawn, who has played loudmouthed busybody Vera for 33 years, asked to leave her pounds 200,000-a-year role because of ill-health.

She was diagnosed with lung disease emphysema four years ago.

Bill Tarmey, who has played long-suffering husband Jack for 29 years, paid tribute to his on-screen sparring partner.

He said: "Liz is a wonderful woman. We have never had a cross word.

"She was a joy to work with and one of the funniest people I know.

"She only left a few weeks ago but already I miss walking on set and seeing her there. I miss working with her - we all do."

Liz joined Coronation Street in 1974 and Vera fast became one of the show's most popular characters. She had a hard life and over the years, she and Jack had more up and downs than most.

They came into money, then lost it, they were constantly let down by their son Terry and when they finally found joy in their grandson Paul, he also betrayed them.

In recent weeks, it looked like they were about to get their happy ending, with retirement in Blackpool becoming a reality. They should have known it was too good to be true.

Liz said: "It was very emotional filming Vera's death scenes but I do think it is the right decision for the character.

"I have had 33 marvellous years in Coronation Street and will miss everyone very much."

The decision to kill off Vera was taken after consultation between Corrie producer Steve Frost, executive producer Kieran Roberts and Liz.

They did consider keeping her character alive and possibly bringing her back for guest appearances. …