Soap star hits town

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One of Britain’s most popular character actors, Malcolm Hebden, who plays busybody Norris Coles in TV soap Coronation Street is appearing in Garstang next month.

Malcolm, who lives in the Ribble Valley, is special guest at an afternoon fundraiser for Garstang Arts Centre, on Saturday, October 3.

He will take the stage with his former drama tutor and longstanding friend, Garstang resident Mr James Dodding.

“An audience with Malcolm Hebden” will see the soap star interviewed about his life on stage, TV, and as a theatre director. The audience will also be invited to pose questions - though Malcolm won’t be giving away any storylines!

His debut in Coronation Street in 1974 was not as Norris, but as Mavis Riley’s Spanish boyfriend Carlos. Malcolm first appeared as Norris Cole in 1994 and left in the programme in 1997, returning to the role in 1999. He also made an appearance in Last of the Summer Wine.

The Corrie star has won numerous awards including Funniest Character in both 2001 and 2002 in the “Inside Soap” awards and Best Onscreen Partnership (with Norris’s then business partner Rita Sullivan - played by Barbara Knox) in 2006.

His character Norris is hugely popular with viewers. Norris remains the Street’s resident nosey parker. In recent years there has been ongoing interest and amusement in his relationship with competition geek “Mad Mary” -Mary Taylor (played by Pattie Clare).

* An Audience with Malcolm Hebden is at Garstang Arts Centre on Saturday, October 3 at 2pm. The event is strictly ticket only. Tickets are available from the arts centre and Market Place News, Garstang, price £5 (including refreshments).