Thomas "Tommy" Duckworth born in September 1992 is the son of Terry and the late Lisa Duckworth. His mother was hit by a car when he was just a baby, and was later sold by his evil father Terry to his maternal grandparents the Hortons, much to the distress of his paternal grandparents Jack and Vera Duckworth, who briefly looked after him. However he began to get regular visits to Jack and Vera, and was even given back to them briefly by Terry when the Hortons couldn't keep up paying the money, but eventually got full custody of him until he was eighteen years of age.
In 2011, Tommy returned to the Street looking for Jack, only to learn he was dead. He moved in with Tyrone Dobbs, who had been treated as a surrogate son by Jack and Vera and became a close friend to Tommy. Tommy had an eye for the ladies, especially barmaid Tina McIntyre. After an on-off relationship with Tina where they had to face the return of Terry, Tommy's debts to a loan shark and her surrogacy with the Windass family, Tommy ended up leaving in 2013, having decided he'd had enough.
1992-2000: Early years
Tommy was born by caesarean while his father Terry was in Strangeways Jail serving a sentence for GBH. After spending a little time at 9 Coronation Street, Tommy and Lisa moved back to her parents house in Blackpool. Lisa and Tommy came back to the Street in January 1993 to live with her lover, Des Barnes. Sadly, Lisa was knocked down by a car outside the Rovers and after spending days in a coma died on 12th February 1993.
Tommy's grandparents, Jack and Vera Duckworth, loved having their baby grandson living with them, but as both were getting on in years they struggled to look after him. Vera gave up her job to look after Tommy full-time, stretching the Duckworths' finances to breaking point and forcing Vera to start shoplifting just to put food on the table but she looked forward to the end of the year when Terry would be released, and they could all rebuild their lives as one family. Unfortunately, Terry had other ideas, and on Christmas Eve 1993 he told Jack and Vera that he had sold Tommy to Lisa's parents Jeff and Doreen Horton. Vera was heartbroken at losing the grandson she had bonded with so closely and a furious Jack punched Terry and disowned him for his disgraceful actions.
In July 1994, Vera was able to visit Tommy in Blackpool for a few days and in 1995 he came to stay with the Duckworths for a couple of weeks and again later in the year for his birthday. Despite this, Jack and Vera still missed having Tommy living with them full time. In June 1996, Terry appeared back in the Street with Tommy. The Hortons had failed to pay the £2,000 a year they had agreed to pay Terry for Tommy. Eventually, the Hortons got him back by paying £10,000 and got Terry to sign a document giving them total custody of Tommy until he was eighteen.
In March 1997, the Hortons were visited by Tricia Armstrong who had given birth to Terry's youngest son Brad and was hoping to contact him. Jeff felt uncomfortable with this and insisted that Tricia was better off without Terry but she still left a letter for Terry in the care of Doreen and was grateful for the fact she could tell Brad that he had once met his half-brother Tommy.
Jack and Vera took care of Tommy in Blackpool in July 2000 while the Hortons were away and the following month Jeff turned up in Weatherfield and left Tommy in the care of the Duckworths again as Doreen had left him for another man. While Tyrone Dobbs was minding Tommy at the garage, Doreen turned up and snatched him but Tyrone then successfully snatched him back and brought him to Jack and Vera where he wanted to stay. When Jeff and Doreen turned up and announced they had reunited, the Duckworths were forced to hand Tommy over once more.
Tommy travelled the world between 2010 and 2011. He turned up on the Street in March 2011 asking Tyrone where Jack was and was shocked to hear that he had died. As he was now estranged from the Hortons and had nowhere else to stay, Tyrone offered him a room. He began working as a mechanic with Tyrone and Kevin Webster although Kevin took an instant disliking to him. He had his eyes on barmaid Tina McIntyre. Although Tina was already in a relationship with Graeme Proctor, the pair split up after he left Weatherfield with his new wife Xin.
Tommy was happy when Tina moved into Tyrone's house as a lodger after she was forced out of the Corner Shop flat by Dev Alahan to make way for his daughter Amber. However, much to Tommy's dismay, Tina began dating local doctor Matt Carter, and Tommy attempted to warn him off, but it only drew them closer together. Tina and Tommy went a date in Nick's Bistro, however it didn't go down to well when Tommy found a piece of paper that Tina had written, which listed Tommy's pros and cons on. Tommy was angry with Tina and vice versa, but they eventually reconciled after Tommy's grandfather, Jeff passed away.
As Jeff and Doreen had raised him since he was a baby, his death hit Tommy hard, but coped well until Tommy's dad, Terry, showed up and, not knowing that Tommy was his son, punched him in the face for refusing to move his camper van. When Terry found out from Jason Grimshaw and Gary Windass that Tommy had inherited £12,000 from Jeff in his will, Terry was soon back to his old tricks trying to convince Tommy that he wanted him to work with him so he could get the money off Tommy.
Tina, among others, didn't trust Terry but Tommy, desperate to have a proper dad, allowed Terry back into his life. They reconciled and Terry, unlike Tina, was quite happy to take Tommy's money and persuaded him to invest in Se7enth Hea7en, a new lap dancing club that he was starting up but admitted that he owed money to some loan sharks. Tommy offered to clear those debts but got caught in a whole new web of dilemmas. In order to pay his debts, Tommy took on extra work but he was so tired that he crashed his work's van and broke his ankle. Unfortunately as he was not working at the time he was driving the van, he had to pay the pizza company for the van as it was written off, landing him and Tina in more debt. The debt put pressure on Tommy and Tina's relationship and lead to continuing rows.
Worried about how they were going to pay their debts off, Tina took a second job doing Owen Armstrong's accounts and when she learnt that his daughter, Izzy and partner Gary were looking for a surrogate, she told Owen she'd be interested if the price was right. Owen offered Tina £15,000 and Tina agreed, upsetting Tommy and Rita Tanner. Rita told Tommy that Tina would need their help and support but Tommy could not offer her that after people learned that Tina was pregnant and assumed he was the father, until he told everyone in the Rovers that Gary and Izzy were the biological parents.
When baby Jake was born in May 2013, Tina became emotionally attached to him and desired to keep him, renaming him Joe in honour of her late father. Tommy had reconciled with Tina and agreed to stand by her in her decision but privately had his doubts about it. The Windasses were horrified with Tina's actions and told Tommy that he would be dumped again as soon as his usefulness to Tina was over and pleaded with him to try and change her mind. Eventually after Tina demanded that Tommy be honest with her, he admitted that he saw it as her stealing Izzy and Gary's baby but that he would still stand by her. When Izzy and Gary came to say goodbye to Tina, spurred on by Tommy's words she changed her mind and gave him back to them.
When Tina moved in ex-boyfriend David Platt after he was kicked out by his family, Tommy had enough and packed his bags, leaving for the Canary Islands. Tina hoped that after Tommy had calmed down, there would be a reconciliation but a few weeks later, Tommy contacted Tina and revealed that it was over between them. Tommy has not been heard from since.
Most of Tommy's upbringing was left to his grandparents, his mother having been killed when he was only a few months old and his father Terry being a selfish and duplicitous man who had little involvement in the lives of any of his sons. It was paternal grandparents, Jack and Vera, who first assumed the duty of caring for baby Tommy with Vera giving up her job at Bettabuy supermarket in order to become his full-time carer. The Duckworths' doted on little Tommy but the expenses incurred put them under significant financial strain. Jack was acutely aware of this but Vera was still determined to have the best for Tommy, even if it cost her last penny.
Tommy was conceived in 1992 as the child of wayward Duckworth son Terry who was imprisoned before his birth and his new wife Lisa, played by Caroline Milmoe. Tommy was born on 9th September in Episode 3435 and Darryl Edwards appeared in the role from his birth. When Tommy was a few months old, Lisa was knocked down and killed and he became the centre of a big plot for the Duckworths as grandparents Jack and Vera desperately tried to keep and look after him.
The story concluded at Christmas 1993 when Terry was released from prison and scandalously sold Tommy to his paternal grandparents, the Hortons. In a 2010 poll, this was voted Corrie's 32nd greatest moment to date.
Tommy continued to make sporadic appearances over the following years, making visits to Jack and Vera in Weatherfield and briefly being looked after by them on a more permanent basis again in 1996. Darryl Edwards continued to play the role of Tommy during these appearances until 1997, with the role been taken over by Joseph Aston for 17 appearances in 2000, in which Tommy again appeared in the capacity of spending time with Jack and Vera.
Following this, Tommy made no appearances for several years with the role of the Duckworths' occasionally seen grandson been taken over by Paul Clayton in late 2000 and 2001 and later on a permanent basis from 2007 to 2008.
In 2011, it was announced that Tommy would be returning to the show, played by former Hollyoaks actor Chris Fountain. Tommy's return, shortly after the departure of William Tarmey as Jack meant that the 'Duckworth legacy' was carried on, something which Fountain felt he had to live up to on taking on the role: "This Duckworth name that I’ve taken on; it’s quite daunting. There’s no other Duckworths left, and I just hope people take to the character and are happy that the Duckworth name is still staying around on Coronation Street."
Chris Fountain was axed in August 2013 after videos surfaced on the internet of him making rap videos about rape and violence under the alias of "The Phantom". On his dismissal, Fountain stated he "only happy memories of my time on Coronation Street". He continued: "My biggest regret however is not to do with losing my job, but that I have hurt and let down so many people including those in a vulnerable situation and I am so very deeply ashamed of this." After his axing, the character's remaining scenes were aired over the next two months, and the character departed off-screen two weeks after his final appearance, with the character splitting from Tina and choosing a fresh start in the Canary Islands.
First and last lines
"You'd be better off learning to juggle with something a little bit smaller, cereal boxes take years of practice." (First line to Sophie Webster)
"Unbelievable, this. Right, going to get a sandwich from Roy's. Anybody want anything? Right, in a bit." (Final line)