coronation street norris cole

Norris Cole actor Malcolm Hebden reveals truth behind Coronation Street retirement

Malcolm has decided to bow out from acting after decades in the business

Norris Cole actor Malcolm Hebden has announced he is retiring from acting.

The Coronation Street actor played busybody Norris from 1994 up until 2017 when Malcolm suffered a devastating heart attack.

He appeared in more than 1,600 episodes of the ITV soap.

But after his health scare forced him to scale back appearances to just a handful over the past few years, Malcolm has now decided to enjoy his retirement.

Coronation Street’s Malcolm Hebden is retiring as Norris Cole (Credit: ITV)

Will we see Norris Cole on screen again?

Sadly not.

His scenes from last year showing Norris in Stillwaters mark the end of his cobbles life.

Read more: Kym Marsh reveals she ‘really misses’ Coronation Street and ‘will’ return to the show

He told The Sun: “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.

“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.”

Coronation Street's Norris 'for return as Malcolm Hebden recovers from heart attack'
He appeared as Norris in more than 1,600 episodes (Credit: ITV)

Fans would be ‘desperately sad’

Producer Iain Macleod paid tribute to the actor and character.

He said fans would be “desperately sad” over the news.

“Norris became an all-time great character, whose lemon-lipped barbs will be remembered forever,” he said.

“But in his brilliant double acts with Emily, Rita and more recently Mary, Malcolm has left us with countless fantastic memories.”

A Coronation Street spokeswoman confirmed that Norris will remain alive on the show.

He will also still be mentioned by his friends on the cobbles.

She said: “Whilst Malcolm enjoys his retirement at home, Norris will reside at Stillwaters off screen and will continue to be referenced in scripts.”

Malcolm has now finished with Corrie (Credit: ITV)

Why has actor Malcolm Hebden retired from playing Norris Cole?

The actor’s health took a turn in 2017 when he suffered a heart attack – without knowing it.

After his GP listened to his heart, an ambulance was summoned and he wash rushed into emergency surgery.

Malcolm had suffered at least one heart attack and had torn a hole in the left ventricle.

He spent almost a month in a medically-induced coma.

Read more: Coronation Street and Emmerdale: Filming suspended due to coronavirus pandemic

Malcolm faced a long battle back to fitness with the help of a medical team.

The actor did return to Corrie briefly to wrap up Norris storylines and casual appearances followed.

But now he has called time on them and will enjoy his retirement in peace.

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