Coronation Street legend Norris Cole killed off as Malcolm Hebden quits soap
Coronation Street fans will be devastated to hear that they must say goodbye to another soap favourite.
Norris Cole star Malcolm Hebden is calling it a day on the soap after appearing in more than 1,600 episodes since he made his 1994 debut.
He announced he was leaving the show back in January after suffering a nearly fatal heart attack in 2017 and stepping back from his acting duties.
The 81-year-old actor did pop up briefly to film scenes in Stillwaters retirement home alongside Bill Roache’s character Ken Barlow, during which time the soap stalwarts uncovered a secret fraud scheme.
Now the Corrie cast are preparing to bid a fond farewell to the former Kabin owner, and have been busy filming Norris’ funeral scenes this week.
In attendance were characters Ken Barlow, Gail Platt – who also recently fled the cobbles to find a new life in Thailand – and Norris’ ex-wife Mary Taylor.
Ken’s girlfriend Claudia Colby – played by Rula Lenska – will also be in attendance.
A source told The Sun: "When Malcolm left the soap he made it clear he would not be returning and bosses took the decision to write him out.
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"Norris was a huge character for Coronation Street and his funeral will be filled with fun and laughter as well as tears.
"Make no doubt about it, this will be a celebration of all of the best moments Norris had on the cobbles."
But the source added that Norris’ funeral will be an "emotional watch", based on the influence he always had over the Street.
Malcolm himself spoke about stepping down from the soap back in January, telling the publication at the time: "I absolutely adored playing Norris and I was pleased to be able to return briefly after my operation."
But he added that he realised "although the mind was willing, the body was not so much".
Malcolm suffered a near-fatal heart attack in 2017, in which he was put into an induced coma to receive treatment from a cardiac team, who "saved his life".
He was sent to hospital via ambulance at the time, where surgeons discovered the heart attack had torn a hole in Malcolm’s heart.
A "groundbreaking" operation was able to save his life, with his heart reportedly "wallpapered" using tissue taken from a cow.
Coronation Street continues on Friday at 7:30pm on ITV.
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