By Laura Harding, PA Deputy Entertainment Editor
Coronation Street stars and fans have paid tribute to character Norris Cole after he was killed off in the soap.
The actor Malcolm Hebden, 81, will retire from acting , prompting the departure of the long-running fixture on the cobbles.
Norris, best known as a busybody with an endless appetite for gossip, first appeared in the show in March 1994.
— Coronation Street (@itvcorrie) September 15, 2021
After Norris suffered a stroke, his friend Rita Sullivan, played by Barbara Knox, said: “He went doing what he enjoyed best, snooping and gossiping.”
Antony Cotton, who plays Sean Tully on the soap, wrote on Instagram: “Goodnight, Norris. One of the most iconic characters on British Television.
“Malcolm, you are loved and missed, but I hope you’ve got your feet up and are enjoying a cream horn and a large sherry x.”
Screenwriter Russell T Davies, who is responsible for shows such as It’s A Sin and Queer As Folk, wrote: “Good night, Norris Cole.
“One of the all-time great characters says goodbye, as one of the all-time great actors, Malcolm Hebden, retires from the screen.”
It’s A Sin star Callum Howells commented: “This is so sad. Grew up watching him, rest in peace king x.”
Playwright Jonathan Harvey also paid tribute, writing: “Good night Norris. The show will miss Malcolm Hebden’s magnificent creation x.”
In Wednesday’s episode it was explained that Norris collapsed while holding his telephoto lens trying to catch Claudia Colby (Rula Lenska) having an affair with his retirement home’s chairman Charles.