ITV has confirmed that Coronation Street favourite, Norris Cole, will be leaving the show for good and is hosting a special tribute show dedicated to him and the actor who played him.

Malcolm Hebden quietly retired last year and his final episode as Norris was broadcast on the 24th June 2020 – but he was never officially removed or killed off from the show.

Now, ITV bosses have confirmed his permanent departure and will bid farewell to the character in an episode called Coronation Street Icons: Norris Cole, which will air on Monday (13 September).

Dorset Echo: Malcolm Hebden (Yui Mok/PA)Malcolm Hebden (Yui Mok/PA)

The show features interviews with co-stars past and present as well as classic moments from the archives – it also includes an honest and emotional interview with Malcolm Hebden, the man behind Norris.

It celebrates the most memorable moments and classic storylines of the Street’s nosey newsagent from over the last 26 years – the programme reveals that Malcolm’s first-ever appearance on Coronation Street was actually way back in 1974, when he landed a role as a love interest for Mavis Riley.

Malcolm reveals that he was pleased to get the role as he thought that he could use his own Lancashire accent, only to be then told his character was called Carlos and was from Spain, which Malcolm says was a bit of a shock.

The 81-year-old also reveals how he learnt the Spanish accent by taking the scripts to a Spanish friend at Burnley college and getting him to read them before copying him.

Carlos only made a fleeting appearance on the Street, and it would take nearly two decades before we saw Malcolm return as the character we are all now so familiar with - Norris Cole.

Dorset Echo: Coronation Street actor Malcolm Hebden (Lord Lichfield/PA)Coronation Street actor Malcolm Hebden (Lord Lichfield/PA)

Thelma Barlow (Mavis Riley) recalls the dynamic between Mavis, Derek and Norris, and how Norris was always a thorn in the couple’s side – the programme also pays homage to a notorious Norris scene during a drag singing competition in the Rovers.

Dressed as singer Eartha Kitt, Norris belts out ‘Old Fashioned Girl’, but Malcolm was unhappy with his performance and says, ‘The costume was great and the legs, apparently were wonderful, but when the piano played, I just fell apart, I was totally flat.’

In another classic comedy scene, Malcolm reveals the behind-the-scenes secrets of his Blackpool Ballroom success whilst partnering Vera Duckworth.

He said: ‘The director wanted me to fall to my knees like John Travolta and slide across the ballroom floor, so what they did was put a duvet down and I laid on the duvet and they just pulled it across the ballroom. So you see me whizzing across the ballroom, but there are two people pulling a single bed.’

Malcolm reveals he had never heard of Patti Clare, who plays Mary, before she started in the show, but the pair share how over the years their real life relationship has developed into the best of friends.

The programme shares how Patti looked after Malcolm when he was taken ill in late 2017, and Malcolm tells us that he actually died for a short spell while in the A&E Department.

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After recovering from his illness, Malcolm did decide to return to the Street, but he felt that that it was the right time to retire.

You can watch ITV’s Coronation Street Icons: Norris Cole on Monday 13th September at 8pm. It will air right after the regular episode of Coronation Street which starts at 7:30.

 


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