‘I was dying, the cardiac team… simply saved my life,’ says Norris Cole actor Malcolm Hebden after suffering a massive heart attack

Coronation Street star Malcolm Hebden as Norris Cole in Coronation Street
(Image credit: ITV/REX/Shutterstock)

Malcolm suffered a “silent” heart attack which comes without the normal warning signs

Coronation Street star Malcolm Hebden has praised the NHS medics who saved his life after he suffered a massive heart attack last year.

The 78-year-old actor, who plays Norris Cole in the ITV soap, revealed he’d been taken by an emergency ambulance to hospital after his GP listened to his heart when he went with a chest infection.

Speaking to the Blackpool Gazette, Malcolm said: “I was informed by my doctor I had had at least one heart attack. I was sent to hospital, by emergency ambulance to Blackburn hospital and was there one night.

“While there I collapsed and was brought here to Blackpool Victoria – where I was operated on, in a procedure which was described by my surgeon as ‘ground-breaking’.

“The heart attack tore a hole in my heart, they operated and took a chance.”

The procedure saw Malcolm's heart being "wallpapered" to repair the damage using tissue from a cow. Malcom spent weeks in a coma before coming round "some time in January" and eventually being discharged in February.

Malcolm said his care was “brilliant” and added: “Fortunately I didn’t realise how bad it was; I was dying.”

As to whether he’d be returning to Corrie as Norris Cole – one of the show’s most popular characters - Malcolm said that depended on how his recovery went.

Main pic: ITV/REX/Shutterstock

David Hollingsworth

David is the What To Watch Editor and has over 20 years of experience in television journalism. He is currently writing about the latest television and film news for What To Watch.

Before working for What To Watch, David spent many years working for TV Times magazine, interviewing some of television's most famous stars including Hollywood actor Kiefer Sutherland, singer Lionel Richie and wildlife legend Sir David Attenborough. 

David started out as a writer for TV Times before becoming the title's deputy features editor and then features editor. During his time on TV Times, David also helped run the annual TV Times Awards. David is a huge Death in Paradise fan, although he's still failed to solve a case before the show's detective! He also loves James Bond and controversially thinks that Timothy Dalton was an excellent 007.

Other than watching and writing about telly, David loves playing cricket, going to the cinema, trying to improve his tennis and chasing about after his kids!