Corrie fans dont recognise Norris Cole star in first role as Spanish Carlos

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Coronation Street fans were left picking their jaws up off the floor on Monday evening, as Norris Cole star Malcolm Hebden's soap past was unveiled.

During a rendition of Coronation Street Icons on Monday, as Malcolm prepares to bid a fond farewell to his character Norris before he is killed off in Soapland, viewers were treated to clips of his first ever appearance on the cobbles.

Staunch supporters of the ITV soap will know that Norris wasn't Malcolm's first ever role in Corrie – as he first starred in 10 episodes as Spanish character Carlos.

Spanish waiter Carlos was a love interest for Mavis Riley, and wanted to tie the knot with her in exchange for a VISA – but left her hurt by using her to get what he wanted.

Fans were stunned as Malcolm ditched the round glasses that have become synonymous with Norris' appearance, with dark hair and a Spanish accent.

Taking to Twitter, one posted: "Looks so different to his character of Norris!"

Someone else followed up: "Oh wow, he's very different from Norris!", as a third fan echoed: "Malcolm Hebden looked well back in the day!"

"So weird that Malcolm Hebden was in Corrie years before he came back in as Norris Cole…" another social media user followed up.

While a fifth fan wrote: "I had no idea Malcolm Hebden was Mavis' Carlos & the actor metamorphosed into Norris!" with an open-mouth emoji.

Later in the episode, Patti Clare, who plays Mary Taylor in Coronation Street, broke down while discussing her on- and off-screen relationship with Malcolm.

She supported him when he suffered a heart attack in 2019, admitting that he "died" in A&E.

He then decided it was time to leave the cobbles, despite a brief return to take part in a retirement home story with Ken Barlow, played by Bill Roache.

Getting emotional, Patti said: "I don't think he's aware of how much he's loved", admitting the pair are "best friends" both in and out of Soapland.

Barbara Knox, who is best known for playing Norris' pal Rita Sullivan in Coronation Street, was also tearing up as she bade a fond farewell to Malcolm, admitting that she has "loved" working with him on the soap.

Stalwart Corrie fans may not know that this isn't the only soap Malcolm has appeared in – as he also starred in two episodes of Heartbeat.

He first appeared as the clerk of a court in 1992, before returning as a walker in 2000.

Norris' funeral scenes are set to air in Corrie later this week – leaving fans to say an emotional goodbye to a much loved soap icon.

Coronation Street continues on Wednesday at 7:30pm on ITV.

  • Coronation Street
  • ITV

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