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Coronation Street’s Norris Cole killed off after actor Malcolm Hebden quits soap – as cast film funeral scenes this week

CORONATION Street have killed off Norris Cole after Malcolm Hebden quit the soap in January.

Norris appeared in more than 1,600 episodes from 1994 and became a firm fan favourite, known for his acerbic wit and put downs.

Rex Features
Coronation Street bosses have killed off Weatherfield legend Norris Cole after Malcolm Hebden quit the soap[/caption]

The Sun revealed how Malcolm, 81, was leaving the ITV soap in January following a near fatal heart attack in 2017.

In the soap his character left the Kabin for Stillwaters retirement home in June 2019.

His funeral was filmed this week, with characters including Ken Barlow, played by Bill Roache, Gail Patt, Helen Worth, and his on-screen ex-wife Mary Taylor, actress Patti Clare, in attendance.

A soap insider said: “When Malcolm left the soap he made it clear he would not be returning and bosses took the decision to write him out.

“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 given his influence and how much he was loved, it is going to be an emotional watch.”

Norris was a firm fan favourite and was seen leaving the street in June 2019 to go to Stillwaters retirement home[/caption]
Rula Lenska, who plays Claudia Colby, and Bill Roache (Ken Barlow) were seen filming Norris funeral this week[/caption]
Actress Helen Worth, who stars as Gail Platt, was also pictured outside the church where Norris’ funeral was held[/caption]
Norris, here with Eileen Derbyshire, who played his pal Emily Bishop, on Corrie appeared in over 1,600 episodes from 1994[/caption]

In January Malcolm told The Sun how he’d taken the tough decision to step away from the Cobbles.

Following his health scare in 2017 Norris made the odd cameo before retiring.

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.

“But I had come to realise that although the mind was willing the body was not so much.”

At the time Corrie boss Ian MacLeod said: “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.”

A spokeswoman for ITV told The Sun: “We do not comment on storyline speculation.”

Rex Features
Malcolm, here on screen as Norris with late soap star Liz Dawn, who played Vera Duckworth[/caption]
Norris’ on screen antics made him a firm fan favourite[/caption]
Rex Features
He worked in the Kabin for Rita Sullivan, played by Barbara Knox, pictured here with Cilla Brown – played by Wendi Peters[/caption]

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