Malcolm Hebden, who plays the loveable Norris Cole in Coronation Street, has revealed that he suffered several heart attacks back in December. The actor, 78, has been on an extended leave from the show, and opened up about his ill health for the first time, telling the Blackpool Gazette: "Most of December 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. 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... The heart attack tore a hole in my heart. They operated and took a chance."
Malcolm opened up about his heart attacks
News of Malcolm's hospitalisation led to false reports that he had passed away back in January, amd his friend and co-star Sally Ann Matthews, who plays Jenny Bradley, reassured fans that the stories were "thankfully" not true. Malcolm added that his return to Corrie would entirely depend on his recovery. He previously suffered a health scare back in 2012 when he fell ill on the set of the soap and was taken to A&E, only to return to filming just a few hours later.
Malcolm plays Norris on Corrie
Malcolm has played loveable Norris since 1994. The character is much-loved for his comedic lines and chemistry with Mary Taylor – played by Patti Clare - and Rita Sullivan – played by Barbara Knox. Malcolm and Barbara even took away the award for Best Onscreen Partnership at the British Soap Awards in 2006. Norris was also named the 'Funniest Character' at the Inside Soap Awards in 2001 and 2002.