Bill Tarmey has spoken for the first time about the real reason he left Coronation Street.

His son, Carl, has a brain tumour and Bill, who played Jack Duckworth, plans to dress in drag as Coronation Street character Ida Fag, to raise money for the charity Brain Tumour Research.

Bill Tarmey, 69, left the soap in November 2010 after 31 years and at the time it was said to be due to his own ill health. However, we now know that it was due to his son, Carl Piddington, who was seriously ill, diagnosed with a life-threatening brain tumour.

Bill spoke about his last days on Coronation Street for the first time to Nigel Pivaro, the man who played his on-screen son in Coronation Street, Terry.

“Trying to learn the script was a nightmare and I found it impossible to talk about it,” Bill told Pivaro, who is now a journalist for the Daily Express.

“There is no doubt that what happened had an influence on me deciding to leave the Street when I did. I felt I was better at home rather than at work. I felt I could do more.”

Now Bill plans to recreate his appearance on Coronation Street in 2004 as Ida Fag, with Jack Duckworth posing as a woman to infiltrate the Rovers Return ladies’ bowling team. He will also auction off locks of his hair to raise money for the charity at his son Carl’s pub in Aston-under-Lyne.

“We want more awareness of the illness and the dangers of brain tumours. If wearing a blonde wig and having my hair cut is the price I have to pay to have my son still with me, then that’s no price at all.”