'Coronation Street' star Bill Tarmey has revealed that he needs to undergo urgent heart surgery.

The actor, who played Jack Duckworth on the soap for 31 years, has been told by doctors that he needs a new pacemaker fitted with a defibrillator to kick-start his heart in case it stops.

Tarmey has recently suffered a series of dizzy spells and fainting, The People reports. He has been warned by doctors to quit smoking and to rest.

Tarmey said: "I'm deeply worried. I have cheated death so many times I feel like a cat running out of lives. I'm used to being out of breath but this is something different. I could be dead tomorrow.

"I want to live day to day and enjoy it. I've got to have surgery as soon as I return home. I've had my chest opened so many times it might be better to put in a zip-fastener.

"I've already died twice and the last time they brought me back to life using a medical version of jump leads."