Patti Clare has hinted Malcolm Hebden will return to "Coronation Street" next year.
The 42-year-old star has sparked speculation that the 78-year-old actor - who took time off from the ITV soap earlier this year to recover from a heart attack - will be returning to the show in 2019 to reprise his role as Norris Cole.
Speaking on "This Morning", Patti - who portrays Mary Taylor - said: "Norris is in Peru with Emily at the moment. So she [Mary] speaks to him often on the phone.
"So yes, there's a faint sort of whisper that he might be back maybe next year."
Patti also revealed Mary will search for her son Jude Appleton (Paddy Wallace) after he appeared to leave Weatherfield for good via tram, after hitting his mother and attempting to snatch his and wife Angie Appleton's (Victoria Ekanoye) son George.
She said: "Mary is very tenacious, and the minute Jude leaves the guilt sets in.
"She starts questioning her actions, she starts questioning being so strong with him, and she immediately thinks, "I've got to find him again." And Mary, if she's one thing, she's persistent.
"That's where I think we can end with Mary. She's going to hunt him down. Maybe, there will be a few curves in the path."
Paddy added: "I have shot my final scenes. But the tram exit was not my final scenes."
The 39-year-old star is delighted to have been on the soap for nearly two years after initially just signing up for just four episodes.
She said: "It's been amazing - I came in for four episodes, it's just a wonderful place to work."