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Jack and Vera quit Corrie? Are they 'eck as like; As actress Liz Dawn and Bill Tarmey sign new deals to stay with the hit soap, we take a look at their best bits.

Byline: By Frances Traynor TV Editor

THEY are the king and queen of Coronation Street.And Jack and Vera Duckworth are set to reign for a while yet.

Bill Tarmey and Liz Dawn,who play the warring but loving couple, have signed new deals at the Street.

It's great news for Corrie chiefs.

Both Bill and Liz have suffered recent health scares and there were fears the couple, who are both in their 60s, would retire.

But it's even better news for fans of the soap who have been delighted by the Duckworths' ups and (mainly) downs for 25 years.

Ever since loudmouth Vera first appeared on the Street as a machinist at Baldwin Casuals in 1974, followed by lazy cabbie husband Jack and thieving son Terry in 1979, the Duckworths have been providing most of Corrie's comic moments.

We take a look back at Jack and Vera's greatest moments in Weatherfield.

1983 JACK had always hadan eye for the ladies with suspicious Vera never too far behind when he was playing the field.

But Jack went too far whenhe joined a dating agency as Vince St Clair.

Bet Lynch was stunned when she saw Jack acting the smoothie on tape and alerted Vera, who joined the same agency as Carole Monroe and set up a date with 'Vince' at the Rovers.

She donned a red wig and Jack walked straight into her trap. She set about him in front of the regulars and a chastened Jack was henpecked all the way home. 1989 THEIR corner bar in the living room was already a stunning monument to bad taste.

But Vera and Jack are always willing to go that little bit further when it comes to home decor.

That's why they forked out a small fortune to have stone-cladding put on the front of No. 9.

It got worse.Vera has always had pretensions - she's convinced she's a descendant of King Edward VII - and that wasthe thinking behind her renaming of their terraced, two-up, two-down as Balmoral just a couple of years ago. 1995 THEY spent so much time propping up the bar in the Rovers, it was only a matter of time before the Duckworths moved in.

And they did when Jack's uncle died and left him pounds 30,000 and his camel coat.

Jack's dream of being master of all he surveyed beer-wise came true when Newton& Ridley took their offer and Vera's name was soon above the door.

Jack allowed himself to be wooed by the local breweries with offers of free beer if he took their products, while Vera fell out with Betty when she asked the 'otpot queen to clean the pub too.

1997 IN true Duckworth style, Jack and Vera received a gift with one hand ... and then lost it with the other. Alec Gilroy and Jack planned a scam with a holiday in Las Vegas. Jack and Vera 'won' the holiday and jetted off to the gambling capital of the world where they had a ball.

On their return, however, they were given the shock news that they owed pounds 17,000 in unpaid tax.

Jack tried to sell Rita Sullivan a 50 per cent share in the Rovers to save their bacon, but he ended up in partnership with devious Alec and their Rovers' dream was soon at an end.

2000 TERRY DUCKWORTH had always been the apple of his doting mother's eye, no matter how many lies he told, how much money he stole from her, or how many lives he ruined.

But even cold--hearted Terry went too far whenhe took pounds 25,000 (Jack's winon the horses) from his parents in return for providing a kidney for his sick son - then bolted before the op.

Brave Vera stepped in and became the life-saving donor to the grandchild she and Jack never knew they had. It was a watershed in Vera's relationship with jailbird Terry and Jack told his son never to darken their door again.

2004 VERA can spot when Jack's up to something at 100 paces, but even she hasn't a clue about his latest scam.

He's dragging up as Ida Fagg to lead the Rovers' ladies bowling team into a crucial final with a Jack--style prize up for grabs - a year's supply of beer.With star player Hayley nobbled for being Harold, Jack has heroically crammed his bulk into a thong, dress and heels to save the day.

Vera, meanwhile, is convinced he's got a bit on the side, thanks to the reek of cheap perfume and that large pink dress in the laundry basket.

THE OTHER SOAP COUPLES WE COULDN'T HAVE LIVED WITHOUT

DEN AND ANGIE WATTS HE was a dodgy ladies man, she was a hopeless drunk - together they made TV magic. More than 30 million of us were glued to the screen for EastEnders' Christmas episode of 1986 when Den handed Angie divorce papers.

BET AND ALEC GILROY A PEROXIDE vision in market-stall bling, Bet ruled the Rovers. But she met her match in showbiz impresario Alec, who succeeded where all others had failed and got Bet up the aisle. No soap couple has ever bickered quite as bitchily or hilariously.

STAN AND HILDA OGDEN IN curlers and headscarf, Hilda was not the sort of wife to take a broken pay-packet home to. But, while she nagged sloth-like Stan within an inch of his life, they were a devoted couple, even if Hilda's 'muriel' got more affection.

VIV AND BOB HOPE FROM behind the counter in Emmerdale's local shop, gossiping Viv is the ultimate soap bitch who won't saying anything unless it's nasty. Devoted Bob lives up to his surname, hoping that one day Viv will act like the nice, kind woman he believes her to be.

CAPTION(S):

TRUE ROMANCE: Jack gives Vera a belated engagement ring in 1995 and the not-so-young lovers holiday in Las Vegas in 1997; ODDS-ON FAVOURITES: Vera; and Jack remarry in Las Vegas in 1997 while, below, Bet Lynch is delighted as Vera finds out Jack has gone to a dating agency in 1983; JACK THE LAD: The; bold Mr Duckworth dresses up as bowler Ida Fagg
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Aug 28, 2004
Words:1028
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