Coronation Street tragedy as beloved resident forced to miss Norris Cole’s funeral

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Coronation Street’s longstanding fan-favourite Norris Cole (played by Malcolm Hebden) is set to leave Weatherfield residents devastated after he dies in upcoming scenes. However, a row will soon erupt between characters over Norris’ funeral arrangements. So will Norris, who appeared on the ITV soap for nearly three decades, get the send-off he deserves?

Ken Barlow (William Roache) is left devastated when he learns his close companion Norris has passed away following a suspected stroke. 

In scenes to air next week, Ken and Rita Sullivan (Barbara Knox) become intrigued when Ken confides in her that Norris wants to meet up as he has some important news. 

However, they are shocked to hear from Freda Burgess (Ali Briggs) that Norris has collapsed and has been taken to hospital with a suspected stroke. 

Later on Ken, Rita, and Mary Taylor (Patti Clare) arrive at the hospital to be met by an ashen-faced Freda, who breaks the news that Norris died half an hour ago.

Ken then reveals Norris wanted to share some major news with him, and later on, in the Rovers, they raise a glass in memory of Norris. 

However, Norris’ passing soon becomes even more difficult when Mary and Freda start arguing over his funeral arrangements as Claudia Colby (Rula Lenska) arrives. 

When they start rowing over the best place to hold Norris’ wake, Rita steps in and asserts that he would have chosen the street. 

As the argument over Norris’ funeral escalates, Mary announces she’s stepping down and tells Freda to sort the funeral out herself. 

However, Gemma Winter (Dolly-Rose Campbell) is concerned that Norris’ funeral clashes with her son Aled’s pending operation. 

She later has to tell Freda that she can’t attend the funeral.

Freda warns Gemma that by giving Aled cochlear implants, they’re changing his identity – but the protective mum assures her that’s not the case.

Will Freda get any help arranging Norris’ funeral next week, and will she hold the wake in the street as she hoped?

Actor Malcolm announced he was bidding farewell to character Norris at the start of 2021 when he revealed his retirement plans after 27 years on the ITV soap.

Malcolm, who first joined the ITV soap in 1994, has only made a small number of appearances on the cobbles since recovering from a near-fatal heart attack in 2017.

Discussing his departure from the soap, Malcolm said: “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,” he said in a statement to Digital Spy.

Coronation Street’s executive producer Iain MacLeod added: “Norris became an all-time great character, whose lemon-lipped barbs will be remembered forever.

“But, in his brilliant double acts with Emily, Rita and more recently Mary, Malcolm has left us with countless fantastic memories.”

Bosses of the soap have confirmed a one-off special will air on ITV on Monday reflecting on Norris’ best bits. 

Coronation Street airs on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday on ITV.

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