Dave Barnes and his mate, Jack Rowe, in The Rovers in 1978. Doesn't Mr Rowe look familiar?
William Tarmey appeared in Coronation Street for years before landing a contract as Jack Duckworth in 1983. During the 1970s, he appeared as an extra in The Rovers, The Kabin and on the Street's exterior set many times. He was a temporary barman at The Rovers on one occasion, slammed the bar flap down on pianist Ernest Bishop's fingers (by accident) on another, and, in November 1979, made his first appearance as Jack Duckworth at the wedding of Brian and Gail Tilsley.
Jack appeared very briefly, didn't have a great deal to say, and disappeared after a few cross words with Vera at the wedding reception. He was next spotted in 1981. The character of Jack was gradually fleshed out as he made occasional appearances in the story-lines of 1981 and 1982, and in the summer of 1983, just after the glorious Vince St Clair fiasco - bingo - a Street resident he became.
And, at long last, Bill Tarmey was awarded a permanent Street contract!
But does anybody remember the other Jack played by Bill?
In late 1978, Ken Barlow began teaching local girl Karen Barnes how to read and her husband, Dave, didn't like it at all. Highly jealous, he sought out a pal of his, Jack Rowe, who knew what Ken looked like. The two men lay in wait in The Rovers so that Jack could point Ken out to Dave when he came into the bar. Jack Rowe was played by Bill Tarmey.
Dave Barnes warned Ken to stay away from his wife, and ended up terrorising Albert Tatlock - before Ken knocked him cold.
By that time Jack Rowe had disappeared from the scene.
But, for Bill Tarmey, another 'Jack' lay just around the corner!