Chris Fountain as Tommy Duckworth (2011)
|Coronation Street character|
|Portrayed by||Darryl Edwards (1992–97)
Joseph Aston (2000)
Chris Fountain (2011–13)
|Duration||1992–97, 2000, 2011–13|
|First appearance||9 September 1992|
|Last appearance||13 October 2013|
|Introduced by||Carolyn Reynolds (1992)
Sue Pritchard (1994, 1995)
Brian Park (1996, 1997)
Jane MacNaught (2000)
Phil Collinson (2011)
|Occupation||Trainee Mechanic (2011–13)
Security guard (2012)
Pizza delivery man (2012)
Thomas "Tommy" Duckworth is a fictional character from the British television soap opera Coronation Street, played by Chris Fountain. The character was born on screen during the episode airing on 9 September 1992 and departed in December 1993, before returning for five short stints in 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, and 2000. The character returned on a more permanent basis on 28 March 2011. Tommy is the son of Terry (Nigel Pivaro) and Lisa Duckworth (Caroline Milmoe). Since his first appearance in 1992, he had few storylines; but after his return in 2011, he became more of a central character. He was played by Darryl Edwards from 1992 to 1997 and by Joseph Aston in 2000. He returned in 2011, now played by Fountain.
In August 2013, producers discovered that Fountain had appeared in numerous videos on YouTube as his alter-ego "The Phantom", rapping about raping a girl and committing acts of extreme violence. He was later sacked by ITV bosses.
Tommy is born on 9 September 1992 by caesarean section while his father, Terry, is serving a sentence in Strangeways Prison for grievous bodily harm. After living briefly at 9 Coronation Street, Tommy and his mother, Lisa, move to her parents' house in Blackpool. Lisa and Tommy return to the Street in January 1993 to live with her lover, Des Barnes (Philip Middlemiss). Lisa is run over and killed by a car outside The Rovers Return on 12 February 1993.
Tommy's paternal grandparents, Jack (William Tarmey) and Vera Duckworth (Liz Dawn) take in their grandson. Although they love having him around but find it a physical and financial struggle, as Vera gave up her job to look after the baby. At one point, she starts stealing from Bettabuys just to put food on the table, but she looks forward to Terry being released and imagining them all rebuilding their lives as one family. However, Terry has no intention of being a father and instead sees an opportunity to make some money and makes an arrangement where Lisa's parents, who also want to raise their grandson, would pay him a fixed sum every year in return for custody. Terry hands him over on Christmas Eve and is ready to make a quick departure. However, Lisa's father, Geoff Horton, forces Terry to tell Jack and Vera what he has done, not wanting to be arrested for kidnap. Terry comes clean to his parents, who are horrified by his actions; and Jack doesn't believe that Terry did it to help his parents. Jack disowns Terry and punches him before he and Geoff make a quick exit with Tommy, leaving the Duckworths (especially Vera) heartbroken. The Hortons immediately go on an extended holiday and the Duckworths struggle to accept that Tommy won't be coming back to live with them. However, their financial burden is lifted, and Vera is able to return to work. After Jack and Vera re-establish contact with the Hortons, Tommy saw his grandparents on a semi-regular basis for most of his young life.
In June 1996, Terry returns to the Street with Tommy. The Hortons have failed to pay the £2,000 a year they had agreed to pay Terry for Tommy. Eventually the Hortons retrieve him by paying £10,000, and getting Terry to sign a document giving them full custody of Tommy until he is 18. Upset that Terry had sold his son again, Vera tore up all her photos of him and excluded him from her will while Jack completely disavowed his son's existence.
Tommy returns to the street on 28 March 2011, having been travelling after disagreements with the Hortons and is unaware of Jack's recent death. He became good friends with Tyrone Dobbs (Alan Halsall), who agreed to take him in as a lodger and gives him a job at the garage. Tommy soon establishes himself as a ladies' man, flirting with Sophie Webster (Brooke Vincent), Sian Powers (Sacha Parkinson) and Tina McIntyre (Michelle Keegan). He later has a row with Kevin Webster (Michael Le Vell) over flirting with Sophie and again tries to flirt with Sian, things end badly however, and Sophie confronts Tommy about trying to steal her girlfriend.
In April 2011, Tommy, Jason Grimshaw (Ryan Thomas) and Tyrone agree to a bet that he could have a fling with Sian, so he offers to teach her to drive and tries to kiss her but she refuses and gets out of the car, returns home and tells Sophie. The next day, Sophie goes over to Tommy and demands to know why he tried to kiss Sian when he knew she was a lesbian, he tells her he made a bet with Jason. Sophie's sister, Rosie (Helen Flanagan), hears this and demands answers from Jason, who tries to tell her it was a bet but she dumps him. Rosie, attempting to show Tommy's true colours, seduces him and tells him to undress and wait for her, in the meantime she calls Jason, who arrived and caught Tommy in his boxer shorts, following this Tommy is forced to roam the streets in his underwear - despite this, he and Jason remain friends. Eventually, following Rosie and Jason's reconciliation, Tommy gets back in the Websters' good books when he rescues Kevin from an accident at the garage, in which he is crushed underneath a car (Tyrone had damaged the car ramp that Kevin was using at the time).
Tommy meets Amber Kalirai in July 2011 and begins to flirt with her but after catching him making a move on Tina, she dumps him, while he denies that they were even together. When Dr. Matt Carter began dating Tina in August 2011, a jealous Tommy began trying to split them up to no avail. When Tina dumped Dr Carter after coming to the conclusion that he is embarrassed by her job as a barmaid, Tina and Tommy grow closer. In February 2012, Stella Price begins to notice how Tommy acts around Tina, so Stella tells Tina how Tommy feels, but neither of them want to discuss their feelings. Tommy then thinks that Tina only wants to be friends and Tina sees him flirting with a female customer at the garage. As Tina goes to discuss their feelings with Tommy and possibly start dating, Tommy kisses the woman and Tina sees them kiss. Tommy says hello but Tina is broken-hearted.
On 5 April 2012, Tommy learns that his grandfather, Geoff Horton, has passed away and initially refuses to go to the funeral but after Tyrone persuades him to admit that he feels ashamed because he didn't really talk to his grandfather. Between them, Tyrone and Tina persuade Tommy to attend the funeral and he does. That night, Tommy realises that he is in love with Tina, and vice versa. Thus they both find each other in the street where they admit their feelings for each other and go home together. Later, Tina says that she has no regrets but Tommy regrets that it took them so long to get together. Tina says her dad would have liked Tommy and Tommy says the same but about his grandfather. Tommy suggests that they go travelling together, using the money his grandfather has left him in his will, but Tina lets him down gently, saying that she doesn't want him wasting his money on her.
Tommy's father, Terry, returns to the street briefly but their reunion wasn't pleasant - Terry punched Tommy and neither recognised the other; Tyrone had to tell Tommy that his dad had just punched him. They reconciled and Terry, unlike Tina, is quite happy to take Tommy's money and persuades him to invest in a new lapdancing club that he is starting up but admits that he owes money to some loan sharks and Tommy offers to clear these debts but only gets caught in a whole new web of dilemmas. In order to pay his debts, Tommy takes on extra jobs but he is so tired that he crashes his van and breaks his ankle. Unfortunately as he wasn't 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. Worried about how they were going to pay their debts off, Tina took a 2nd job doing Owen Armstrong's accounts and when she learnt that his daughter, Izzy Armstrong and her partner, Gary Windass, 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. Rita told Tommy that Tina would need their help and support but Tommy couldn't 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 are the biological parents.
In October, Tommy leaves the street after discovering Tina moved David Platt into the flat and having an argument with him (off-screen). David then tells Tina about what happened, and that Tommy has left for the airport.
Tina told Tyrone about Tommy leaving, who is very annoyed, considering that he is the only one working at the garage now. Tommy contacted Tyrone and told him not to tell Tina where he is. Eventually, he told her that he's at the Canary Islands. Tina keeps messaging and emailing Tommy, wanting him back after David continues to annoy her. Tommy rang Tina, telling her that he's not coming back and that she always puts other people first, upsetting Tina.
Creation and development
On 26 November 2010 it was announced that former Hollyoaks actor Chris Fountain would be taking over the role of Tommy. Speaking of his casting Fountain said "I'm delighted to be joining Coronation Street, especially as I'm playing a Duckworth. I'm looking forward to upholding one of the most celebrated names in soap. I can't wait to start filming in the New Year."
Speaking of the casting producer Phil Collinson said "I have long admired Chris, right back to his first appearance on our screens as a young boy in Red Production Company's Bob and Rose. He has the perfect balance of looks and charm and will, I am sure, create a brilliant successor to Jack. The ladies of Weatherfield had better watch out!"
Asked when the role came about Fountain said : "I think it was around September last year, when I had a call from my agent saying that she'd spoken to Coronation Street's producer Phil Collinson and that he was interested in seeing me about a part. I didn't hear anything else for a couple of months after that and I was also up for a few other parts. My agent later spoke to Phil again and he was asking what I was up to, so she told him about the roles that I was up for and how I was quite close to getting them. Phil told her that he definitely wanted to see me over this part and that he'd get me up to the set straight away."
Personality and characterisation
Speaking of how Tommy was described to him Fountain said : "They described him as a cheeky chappy with a bit of swagger about him and also an eye for the ladies - and that for me was a selling point, really! I didn't get a full character breakdown until a couple of days before I started, so I learned later that he'd been busy travelling around the world and he's a bit of a free spirit. He's one of those loveable characters who can say something that's out of order but people still like him, just because he's Tommy. He's got a kind of charisma that borders on arrogance but doesn't quite cross over to that - he's quite a charming guy."
Asked whether he watch any of Tommy's previous scenes, Fountain said: "I didn't, but it's funny because I actually know Joseph Aston, who played Tommy when he was younger - that was quite strange, it's a small world! But I don't think Tommy was that much of a character when he was younger and he definitely didn't have any of the traits or personality that he has now - he's grown up in Blackpool, been away travelling, evolved as a person and evolved as a character. So I don't think it would have really been beneficial for me to look back, but I did look into some of the history with him and his dad and what happened there."
Speaking to The Mirror, Fountain said: "To come in as a Duckworth - one of the most recognised and celebrated names in soap, was quite daunting. Jack and Vera's are big shoes to fill and I'm just hoping I can prove to people that Tommy has that Duckworth charm and wit and gain viewers' respect." Discussing the spray tan that he has to wear for the role, Fountain confessed that he is not a fan of the beauty application. "I don't like them much," he said. "My toes look like someone's been rubbing Marmite on them at the moment - it's not the greatest look!"
Speaking of whether or not he would like Terry (Duckworth) to return, Fountain said: "Yeah, if Terry came back, I think it would cause fireworks between a lot of the characters. It would be nice to see how that would pan out, because obviously Tommy is completely different to Terry - he hasn't got so much of a temper and I don't think he's a nasty person. It would definitely be quite interesting to see what happened if Terry came back."
Chris Fountain was nominated at British Soap Awards 2011 for Sexiest Male speaking of the nomination Fountain said: "I'm absolutely thrilled to bits - I've not even been on screen yet, so it's quite flattering to be up for Sexiest Male. It's great. A few people have asked me whether it would be quite an embarrassing award to win, but considering I haven't even been on screen yet, I'd take anything! (laughs) If it was Best Haircut, I'd take that as well!"
- Kilkelly, Daniel. "Chris Fountain joins 'Coronation Street'". Retrieved 3 March 2012.
- "Chris Fountain (Tommy Duckworth, Corrie) - Coronation Street Interview - Soaps". Digital Spy. 2011-03-22. Retrieved 2012-01-26.
- "Chris Fountain Interview - Part Two - Coronation Street News - Soaps". Digital Spy. 2011-03-22. Retrieved 2012-01-26.