Norris Cole will return to Coronation Street in May 2019 the ITV soap has confirmed, following actor Malcolm Hebden’s prolonged absence while he recovers from a heart attack.
Almost a year since he last appeared on screen, Hebden’s sudden absence was initially explained as the star suffering from an unspecified illness, but in July 2018 he spoke publicly about the cardiac arrest that put him in an induced coma for three weeks and required groundbreaking surgery that saved his life.
In an interview with the Blackpool Gazette at an event at Blackpool Victoria Hospital to mark the 70th anniversary of the NHS in the summer, Hebden disclosed the full extent of his health crisis publicly for the first time, revealing how his heart had effectively been ‘wallpapered’ to repair the damage, using tissue from a cow for the procedure.
“After surgery and for most of December 2017 I was in an induced coma, in the care of brilliant, wonderful people at the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit,” he said . Fortunately I didn’t realise how bad it was – I was dying. The cardiac team simply saved my life.”
Norris has been staying with old friend Emily Bishop in Edinburgh while Hebden takes time to get back to full strength, but fans of the nosy street veteran, who first appeared in 1994, will be thrilled at news he will definitely be back. “Everyone is looking forward to his return,” an ITV spokesperson has said.
Wife Mary Cole could certainly use her faithful companion right now, as she frets over the mysterious disappearance of deceitful son Jude Appleton…