Liz Dawn's best moments as Coronation Street's Vera Duckworth

Liz Dawn, who died on September 25, played bawdy, volatile Vera Duckworth for more than three decades. With her lovable, layabout husband Jack (Bill Tarmey, who died in 2012), they were the foundations on which the Coronation Street cobbles were built, and despite all their feuding and fighting, they remained one of the most enduring TV partnerships. 

Bill Tarmey and Liz Dawn as Coronation Street's Jack and Vera Duckworth
Bill Tarmey and Liz Dawn as Coronation Street's Jack and Vera Duckworth

But with their work-shy ways and a stone-cladded house with a loft of pigeons in the back yard, the Duckworths were always the family on whom everyone else could look down upon. Thanks to an inheritance windfall, however, it was a dream come true for Vera when they bought the famous Rovers Return pub. Few characters since have had such heart as the Duckworths. They served us well.

Vera takes on Hilda Ogden (1980)


It’s a brave woman who takes on the wrath of the mighty Hilda Ogden, but in 1980 a classic Corrie argument took place on the cobbles between two of the Street’s most vocal residents. It was a war of wagging fingers and wild insults over the winning of a prize holiday at bingo.

Vera: “Hilda, if you’ve got owt to say then spit it out before it flamin’ chokes you.”

Hilda: “Well you know what you can do, don’t you? You can stick your rotten holiday. And I hope it chucks it down for you. Flamin’ stair rods.”

Well hello Vince (1983)

Would-be lothario Jack Duckworth attempted to cheat on his put-upon wife Vera by joining a dating agency and posing as lounge lizard Vince St Clair. Aware of his antics, Rovers Return barmaid Bet Lynch persuaded Vera to join as Carole Monroe and sneakily arranged a date between the pair. The outcome featuring Vera in a red wig snarling the words "Well hello, Vince, terrific to meet ya!" gave us one of the warring pair's most brilliant bust-ups of all time, complete with her chasing him out of the pub, whacking him over the head with her clutch bag.

Vera smashes the Wilton’s window (1990)… and the Platt’s (2003)

After an altercation in the Street late at night with Des and Steph Barnes, Vera attempted to throw a slab from her roof through their window, but she missed and sent it into the Wilton’s (fusspot Derek and dithering Mavis) front room.

Vera: “Why didn’t you stop me!?” she said to suffering husband Jack.

Jack: “Get in, I’ll throttle you!” replied Jack as he leads her back home.

And if that wasn't enough slingshot practice, Vera soon lashed out again, this time after learning the hard truth that Gail Hillman couldn't return the £20,000 that her evil husband Richard had swindled from them.

After calling Jack a "soft nelly" she hurtled a rock through Gail’s window.

 The same Christmas card (2004)

Vera was not impressed when Jack presented his wife with the same Christmas card for the second year running and made her feelings on the matter very clear, dispatching Jack to buy another card - and then put him in his place again when she overheard him planning to go to to Rovers for a couple of swift pints instead.

Jack: "But the poem made you cry!"

Vera: "Yes, but I didn't expect to get it again this year, you bone-idled, tight-fisted pig!"

One last dance (2010)

The character of Vera died onscreen in 2008, but she later returned as a ghost when husband Jack's battle with cancer came to an end. Jack died peacefully in the same armchair that Vera had two years previously. 

Jack: "Are you waiting for me, my duck?"

Vera: "'Course I'm waiting for ya, there's a bus at 12 minutes past, so come on, shift yourself."

Jack rose from his chair and danced with Vera and they kissed in a fittingly poignant final moment.

From Eldorado to EastEnders – British soaps ranked, from worst to best
From Eldorado to EastEnders – British soaps ranked, from worst to best