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14 September 2021, 09:55
Why did Norris leave Coronation Street? Here's what we know about actor Malcom Hebden...
It’s sad news over on Coronation Street after it was confirmed that viewers would be saying goodbye to Norris Cole after 27 years on the soap.
But what happened to Norris and why did he leave Corrie? Here’s what we know…
Norris died off screen. The character’s partner Freda Burgess (Ali Briggs) will reveal the sad news that he passed away in hospital after suffering a stroke.
The Cobbles residents will attend the funeral later this week, with the likes of Audrey Roberts (Sue Nicholls) and Mary Taylor (Patti Clare) gathering in church.
At one point, Rita Tanner (Barbara Knox) delivers a eulogy about her best friend, before vicar Billy Mayhew (Daniel Brocklebank) reads a letter left by Norris.
But it looks like Norris is set to cause one last bit of drama after he hints that the paperboy statue outside the Kabin contains a secret.
Norris's letter then finishes with the shock revelation that Rita secretly used to have her hair coloured by Audrey’s hairdressing rival Claudia Colby (Rula Lenska).
Mary, Gail, Ken Barlow (William Roache) and Brian Packham (Peter Gunn) later gather around the paperboy to try and find out what is inside, with Mary getting her hands on a chainsaw. But what will they find inside?
Actor Malcolm Hebden decided to retire quietly from acting after 27 years playing Norris.
The 81-year-old had a near-fatal heart attack in 2017 and said in January he needed to rest.
Speaking to The Sun at the time, he said: “I absolutely adored playing Norris and I was pleased to be able to return briefly after my operation.
“It took a great deal of courage to make the decision to retire.
“But I had come to realise that although the mind was willing the body was not so much.”
Corrie producer Ian MacLeod added: “Norris became an all-time great character, whose lemon-lipped barbs will be remembered forever.
“But, in his brilliant double acts with Emily, Rita and more recently Mary, Malcolm has left us with countless fantastic memories.”