Former Coronation Street star Bill Tarmey has confessed that he still wakes up in the morning thinking he is in the soap and has to learn his lines.

The 70-year-old quit his role as Jack Duckworth in 2010 after 31 years in the show, in order to spend more time with his family and his 45-year-old son Carl who was diagnosed with a brain tumour the previous year.

But he admitted that even now he was absent-minded when it came to remembering his was no longer a part of Weatherfield.

“I miss Jack of course,” he said. “I used to always wake up at 5.30am and read my script and I’m still waking up at the same time but panicking because I can’t find the script.

“Then I realise I’m retired,” Bill added. “I don’t regret my decision to quit – it’s just probably going to take me another 30 years to get used to the fact that I’m not on the Street!”

Bill also spoke of his decision to quit, saying that his son’s illness had knocked him for six. Although he underwent successful operations to remove the tumour, he is still on medication and will have to wait several years before he can be given the all-clear.

“I always thought they’d have to drag me kicking and screaming off the Street because I loved it so much, but Carl’s diagnosis was such a shock,” Bill admitted.

“Even though I carried on working, I’d break down in tears sometimes on set. As a professional I felt that wasn’t fair on my colleagues and I knew it was finally time to go.”

However he added: “I had the most amazing 31 years playing Jack. Because of him I’ve made fantastic friends and travelled all over the world. I was persuaded to stay for the 50th anniversary and said goodbye after that as I needed to be with my family and Carl.”