‘Coronation Street’ legend Norris Cole killed off as cast film funeral scenes?

Norris Cole Coronation Street
Rumours are rife that Coronation Street legend Norris Cole is being killed off. (Image credit: Joseph Scanlon/ITV)

It looks like Coronation Street legend and fan-favourite Norris Cole (Malcolm Hebden) may have been killed off after 27 years of being on the soap.

Rumours have started circling about Norris's demise after a number of the Coronation Street cast were spotted filming funeral scenes. 

Norris arrived on the cobbles in 1994 and was known as a big gossip and perfectionist who worked at The Kabin newsagents. 

While his criticisms of his fellow neighbours may have annoyed the people of Weatherfield, he soon became an iconic and well-loved character for fans.

Norris left Weatherfield in June 2019 to go and live at Stillwaters Retirement Home with his new wife Freda Burgess (Ali Briggs) who was then joined by hairdresser Claudia Colby (Rula Lenska) and Ken Barlow (Bill Roache). 

Malcolm suffered a heart attack in 2017, which left him in an induced coma for a month. However, his character Norris has since made guest appearances until he moved to the luxury retirement home. 

Norris shocks Rita and Emily in Coronation Street

Malcolm joined Coronation Street as Norris Cole in 1994. (Image credit: ITV)

Earlier this year, Malcolm announced that he was retiring from acting.

Talking about his decision to retire, he revealed to the Blackpool Gazette that: "Most of December [2017] I was in an induced coma, in the care of these brilliant, wonderful people at the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU). Fortunately, I didn't realise how bad it was; I was dying. The cardiac team, headed by Mr [Joseph] Zacharias, simply saved my life."

Malcolm added during an interview with 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."

The soap stars who have been seen filming alleged funeral scenes include Patti Clare who plays Norris’s former on-screen wife Mary Taylor, Bill Roache as Ken Barlow and Rula Lensk as Claudia Colby.

In the pictures, fans also spotted Mary was dressed up as Princess Leia from Star Wars, which led to rumours of it being Norris’ funeral as Mary staged a Star Wars-themed photoshoot in 2017 to convince competition organisers that her and Norris were a couple. 

While it remains to be seen whose funeral is being filmed, it won't be long before the scenes are on screen later this year.

Coronation Street airs on Mondays and Wednesdays 7.30pm and 8.30pm with an hour-long episode at 7.30 on Fridays on ITV - see our TV Guide for full listings. You can also stream this week’s episodes on ITV Hub now. 

Grace Morris
Staff Writer

Grace is a digital writer with WhatToWatch.com, where she writes series guides, recaps and features for must-watch shows and delivers all the latest soap news and reactions. She graduated from Anglia Ruskin University in 2020 with a degree in Writing and Film Studies, which only made her love for creative writing, film and TV grow stronger.

You'll usually find her watching the drama unfold in the latest reality series or much-loved UK soaps (usually with chocolate by her side!). She's an expert in EastEnders, Emmerdale, Coronation Street and everything reality-related from Selling Sunset and Married At First Sight UK to 90 Day Fiancé UK. Plus Netflix megahit Virgin River!

Grace also likes to explore new places with her friends and family and, of course, watch and read about the latest films and TV series.