It’s the end of a soap era when Vera Duckworth suddenly dies on Coronation Street. Actress Liz Dawn reveals why she had to leave the hit show…

We hear Vera’s
death is going to
be a total shock…



“Three endings have been filmed, but no one will know how she dies until the episode’s shown.”

So no happy move to Blackpool for her
and Jack then?



“Afraid not!”

You’ve played Vera for 33 years. What’s
made you decide to leave?



“I have emphysema, a very serious lung disease, and
I want to spend more time with my husband Don and our four children and five grandchildren. I want to enjoy life while I can.”

Was it a hard decision?


“It was the most difficult decision I’ve ever had to make. I always thought I’d play Vera till my dying day and I’m devastated I won’t be there for Corrie’s 50th birthday in 2010.”

How do you feel about Vera dying?


“It’s very sad, but after a lot of careful thought
the producers and I felt it was better to have
a dramatic finale rather than have Vera coming back to make the occasional appearance.”

You didn’t fancy that?


“No. I can fully focus on my retirement and it means Jack’s character isn’t compromised. Bill Tarmey isn’t leaving just because I am. Who knows? Maybe Jack will cop off
with Blanche!”

What’ll be the worst
thing about leaving?



“Saying goodbye to Bill. We’ve worked together for so long and we’ve never had a cross word.”

What was his reaction to your decision?


As always he was thinking of me and just said: ‘You’ve got to do what you’ve got to do.’ I never thought we’d end like this though. I thought Jack and Vera should end up in an old people’s home together… Vera with her knickers around her ankles and Jack just staring at her.”

Can you remember your first day?


“It was in 1974 working in Baldwin’s sweatshop. My mum was a machinist and I’d worked in a factory so I based Vera on women I knew.”

What’s the biggest change between
Coronation Street then and now?



“When I first joined there were just two episodes a week and now it’s five. At times it’s been a struggle to learn all my lines!”

Who’s your favourite character?


“Jack of course. He’s always tried to get one over on Vera but he’s just daft. I think a lot of women have husbands like that.”

And the best Vera moment?


“I loved the storyline where she mistakenly thought she had royal blood in 1991. Jack and Vera’s proudest moment was when they took over
the Rovers in 1995.”