The Cold Feet Cast Talk Ageing, Fresh Starts And The New Series

After almost 13 years, ITV is bringing back its BAFTA-winning relationship drama, Cold Feet, for a brand new eight-part series, with all of the five surviving characters returning: Hermione Norris, Fay Ripley, James Nesbitt, John Thomson and Robert Bathurst. The last series ended with Rachel’s (Helen Baxendale) tragic death after a lorry crash, leaving Adam (James Nesbitt) to bring up their son alone – and although many things have changed, their friendships haven’t. We found out more from the stars of the show themselves…  

It’s been 13 years since the last episode of Cold Feet, why did you want to come back to it now?

John [Thompson]: The demand for the show has been quite incredible. For the last 13 years, complete strangers have stopped me on a weekly basis to say, “When is it coming back?” and I’ve not really been involved in any other projects since that have had that kind of reaction. Right now, I think there’s a great need for nostalgia – for us to look back on the days when everything seemed okay. I don’t think the timing could be better to bring back something as feel good and uplifting as Cold Feet.

Did any of you have moments where you felt unsure whether going back was a good idea?  

Hermione [Norris]: I really felt that. It’s that thing where you think, “Don’t go back, just move forward” and also, it was so of its time and it was so loved that I felt maybe it was best left because I didn’t ever want to do anything that would have undone that. It’s the wait and expectation and the responsibility to make something again that people would love. But [writer] Mike [Bullen] said he just thought it would be really interesting to revisit these characters in this chapter of their lives, emphasising the fact that it’s not so much a remake, but a revisit. So I said yes.

John: On the other side of the coin, there’s the fact that we delivered the goods the first time round and I saw it at a challenge to do the same thing again – but even better.

What was your reaction when you first read the script?

Fay [Ripley]: I think what Mike [Bullen] does very well is that he recognises the stuff that he writes about. All of the original characters have been living their lives and instead of bringing in new people, you’re rediscovering it all. It was like bumping into an old friend – and I was delighted to bump into her! I was very relieved that I still recognised her.

You’ve all gone on your own journeys since the last series – in what ways do you feel different coming back to it?

Hermione: I just love working with people my own age – I feel as though I’m back with my generation. But also as a woman, I love being older; you’ve got all this experience that you don’t have as a 30-year-old. I wouldn’t trade that.

Fay: For me, the main difference is that you grow. Your priorities slightly change as you get older, so you care a bit less about certain things and you care more about other things. Age has definitely made me a bit more relaxed.

If any of you had said no to this, did they have lookalikes on standby?

Fay: My dad was willing to step in!

Robert [Bathurst]: When the first series went out someone came up to me and said, “You look just like that guy off Cold Feet.” So I rang my agent and I said, “It’s great I can do a low rent lookalike jobs now!”  

Fay: I think it was as important to all of us that we were all going to do it as it probably was to them. So we were all calling each other going, “You doing it? You doing it?”

John: It was like a heist where everyone’s done the big bank job years ago and then they go and try and recruit!

How would you feel if there were even more series of Cold Feet to come?

John: I’d be gutted if I got told this was it. But that happens so often in television these days – people pull the plug very quickly because they get cold feet (excuse the pun!). It’s happened to me and it’s heartbreaking because as an actor, you feel personally responsible for the demise of that show. When I saw the first episode of the new series though, I was overwhelmed because I was really happy with it. I don’t know if anyone else will like it, but I know I did!

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