It’s sad to hear of the death of Jack Duckworth. Bill Tarmy, the actor who played Jack in the soap opera Coronation Street, was 71 when he was found dead at his holiday home in Tenerife. I haven’t watched the program since Eddie Yeats shared a bed with Stan Ogden. But I do remember the character of Jack – an oafish bore of a man, who had a love of odd turns of phrase and often an abstract use of the English language, who inexplicably thought he was a hit with the ladies, but who often found out he was nothing of the sort.
And for some strange reason, I always used to get him confused with the former Deputy leader of New Labour, John (now Baron, or is it Barren ?) Prescott. Apart from the obvious physical similarities, here too is a Nellie Pledge of a character who brought all the wit and charm of a Panzer Division to the corridors of Westminster, not to mention the odd malapropism or 8. There’s nothing wrong with being unable to speak (or indeed write!) in pure, plain English, but when you’re standing-in for the Prime Minister of GB and NI it helps to be able to construct a coherent ….erm….
So imagine my confusion when I learn on the same day that one of them has passed on, and the other is standing for election as Police and Crime Commissioner in his local constituency of Humberingside, as he may have put it. The man once known as “Two Jags” for his penchant for destroying the ozonery layer, will presumably be putting in for an extra set of bicyclation clips to join the Northern Constabularianry on the beat as old Punchy Prescott becomes crime fighter.
And just in case you don’t think his heart is really in it, and that this may just be a knee-jerk reaction after his triumphantful appearance at the Levesonian Inquisisation, guess who he roped in to back his campaign ? Yep, the old War Criminal himself (not to mention Jack’s, sorry John’s ex-boss and croquet partner) Anthony Charles Lynton Blair, formerly of this parish. Prescott could have slashed the UK there and then if he’d made an arrest and delivered the ex PM to the Hague, it’s only just across the water, after all. And as ,before he started distributing semen to and into friendly women, John used to be a Seaman could have steered the prison ship himself.