Malcolm Hebden suffered a massive heart attack which left him in a three-week-long induced coma in December.
The 'Coronation Street' actor has barely been seen on screen in his role as gossip king shopkeeper Norris Cole in the ITV soap this year, and the 78-year-old star has revealed he was "dying" in December, but has made a "remarkable recovery".
Speaking to the Blackpool Gazette yesterday (05.07.18), he said: "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 Zacharias, simply saved my life."
Malcolm spent nearly three months in hospital and came round "some time in January" before being discharged in February, and he has likened the situation to a soap storyline.
He said: "From getting into that ambulance at home, I don't really remember much at all.
"It was almost like I thought it was happening to Norris Cole, like a soap opera about the NHS."
But Malcolm isn't sure whether he'll ever be able to reprise his role as Norris, who he has played in two stints since 1994.
He added: "People are asking if I'm returning to the Street, but that's just not known yet. I may do, I may not, it depends on my recovery."
In January, it was reported Malcolm was to take an extended break from 'Corrie'.
A source said at the time: "Malcolm is not getting any younger.
"He booked a bit of time off just before Christmas, but that annual leave has now become longer than first planned.
"Bosses do not know when he will be back.
"It's easy to cover a period of a few weeks without mentioning Norris on screen but any longer and fans start to question why a character is not there."
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