The Sun reports that the actor has no plans to reprise his role as Norris Cole in the ITV soap.
“Norris became an all-time great character, whose lemon-lipped barbs will be remembered forever.” – Iain MacLeod, Coronation Street producer
The 81-year-old made his last regular appearance as busybody Norris in December 2017 having suffered a near-fatal heart attack after the scenes were filmed.
He has appeared in a few episodes here and there since May 2019 but has now told the tabloid that he won’t be making any further appearances as Norris.
Norris, Blanche and Rita.
Emily, Cilla and Norris.
Norris has, since June 2019, been residing in retirement home Stillwaters where a spokesperson for the soap has said he will remain being referred to occasionally.
The popular character was last seen on screen in June 2020.
“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.” – Malcolm Hebden
Hebden clocked up more than 1600 appearances as Norris – best known for being Rita’s sidekick behind the counter at The Kabin – between 1994-2020.
Mary and Norris.
Ken and Norris at the Stillwaters Retirement Home last year.
However, the actor made his first Corrie appearance in 1974 as Spanish waiter Carlos who wooed Mavis Riley (Thelma Barlow) although the romance wouldn’t, despite the offer of marriage, last and she would eventually, after a false-start, wed Derek Wilton (Peter Baldwin).
It was through Derek that Norris first appeared, in 1994, when he gave ‘Derk’ as Norris called him a lift home. He later imposed himself on the Wilton’s having ‘taken Derk’s advice’ and left his wife. He would later marry Derek’s ex-wife Angela and become his boss. Norris made intermittent appearances until 1999 when he was contracted as a regular.
Producer Iain MacLeod paid tribute to Hebden’s “all-time great character” stating that his “lemon-lipped barbs” and “brilliant double acts with Emily, Rita and Mary” will go down in history.
Norris gets a lapdance treat.