This month, Coronation Street actor Bill Tarmey dropped by Optical Express in the Trafford Centre, Manchester, for an eye test and new frames. Famed for his role as Jack Duckworth in the long-running soap, Bill purchased two frames and updated the lenses in a third pair, a big move for a man whose television persona has been wearing taped glasses for years.
Jack Duckworth first appeared on Coronation Street in 1979 and has been a regular on the show since 1981. In recent years, one of his trademarks has been his distinctive and visibly broken glasses, held together with a piece of tape. This past April, Bill announced his departure from the show in December to coincide with the show’s 50th anniversary.
“With the end of his time as Jack Duckworth on the horizon, there couldn’t be a better time for Bill to invest in new frames,” Cheryl Swindells, Optical Express manager at Trafford, said. “Getting new, tape-free frames are a great way for him to prepare to embark on his post-Coronation Street life.”
Bill underwent an eye test at Optical Express and proceeded to purchase two pairs of frames, one by Giorgio Armani, and the other by Safilo. Both frames have been fitted with Transitions varifocal lenses. In addition, Bill brought in a pair of his own frames, which were updated with new varifocal lenses.
Cheryl commented that Bill was lively and full of personality, cracking jokes throughout his time in-store.
“I think everyone in store really appreciated [Bill’s] presence – he was as animated as you would expect from Jack Duckworth,” she said. “We were delighted to be able to provide him with new frames, and look forward to seeing him for future eye tests.”
Bill also donated his old glasses to the Caring City via the drop box located in-store. The Caring City and Optical Express have come together to form a unique partnership which values visual health and a route out of poverty.
The project, which started in 2007, involves Optical Express supporting the Caring City who currently has 47 on-going projects around the world, each committed to improving eye care. Donated glasses are categorized, tested and distributed free of charge via local clinics. Bill has joined the 500,000 Optical Express patients who have already donated their old or unwanted glasses to this cause. Many patients also donate after having laser eye surgery which means their old glasses are put to great use.