In this week’s double bill episodes of Coronation Street, scenes depicting Norris Cole’s dramatic dying have been shown.
Norris has a stroke and is sent to the hospital, where his friends arrive too late to say their goodbyes.
‘Where is he, love?’ Rita, who had been worried sick about his condition, wonders as the group is greeted by an emotional Freda Burgess.
‘Norris passed away only a short while ago,’ Freda says, unable to find the words to explain that he has died.
The storey develops as it is discovered that Norris had some vital news he intended to share with Ken and Rita prior to his hospitalisation.
After Malcolm Hebden, 81, decided to quit the programme after 27 years, the soap opted to kill off the character.
Norris’ friends raise a glass to their Rovers buddy at the end of the narrative.
Norris’ former on-screen wife Mary Taylor (Patti Clare), Ken Barlow (Bill Roache), and Claudia Colby (Rula Lenska) were all spotted filming funeral sequences, leading to speculation that he was departing.
Malcolm announced in January that he will be leaving his role as busybody Norris on the drama.
Following a near-fatal heart attack in 2017, the actor chose to quit the programme, and it was written into the show that he had gone to a care facility. He has only made a few cameo appearances since then.
‘I truly enjoyed playing Norris, and I was thrilled to be able to return temporarily following my operation,’ he told The Sun at the time.
‘It required a lot of guts to make the choice to retire.’ However, I had realised that while the mind was willing, the body was not.’
‘Norris became an all-time great character, whose lemon-lipped jabs cutting lean mass cycle would be remembered forever,’ said Corrie head Ian MacLeod.
‘However, Malcolm has left us with numerous great memories in his brilliant double performances with Emily, Rita, and, more lately, Mary.’