Cold Feet is back! We catch up with the cast

Mark Reynolds

Heartbroken and hungry for more, we left the six thirty-somethings in 2003. Thirteen years later Adam returns to Manchester with some life-changing news. Yes, ITV’s iconic comedy-drama Cold Feet is finally back. We drop in on the cast, it's like they've never been away.

Where did we last see the Cold Feet gang?

Series 5 drew to a close in 2003 with James Nesbitt’s Adam leaving Manchester with his infant son Matthew, after the tragic death of his wife Rachel (Helen Baxendale). Pete (Jon Thomson) and Jenny (Fay Ripley) had got back together after each had strayed, and David (Robert Bathurst) had stumbled into a relationship with his divorce lawyer after his split with Karen (Hermione Norris).

 

Thirteen years later...

Each of the show’s stars had some trepidation about revisiting these quintessential 30-somethings as they face up to middle age—but all were quickly won over by creator Mike Bullen’s sparkling scripts, which breathe new life into these well-loved and instantly recognisable characters.

“It was like putting on an old jumper, or bumping into an old friend,” says Ripley, “and I was delighted to bump into her.”

“It was remarkable how easily everybody slotted back into that dynamic, and it was a real joy,” adds Norris.

“At different stages of our lives we’re all essentially the same people,” notes Bathurst. “David is still the same person, still has the most monumentally bad judgement. He does his best, and sees what life throws at him.”

 

It’s about people and
how they rub along together.
You are thrown circumstances
which as a character you’re
completely ill-equipped to deal with

 

The camaraderie on set was palpable. “We’ve got a shorthand when we work together,” says Ripley, “ which was incredibly handy. It’s like family, you know each other and it’s just brilliant because you can also hold hands much quicker—in every sense.”

“It’s down to us, and it’s down to the viewing public, to imagine what’s taken place in those thirteen years,” says Thomson. “We don’t pick up where we left off—because it’d cost the production company a fortune in Botox!”

“It’s a very, very different chapter of life from the previous challenges that all these characters were faced with,” observes Norris.

For Bathurst, the premise of the show was always difficult to pin down. “It’s about ordinariness,” he reflects. “It’s about people and how they rub along together. You are thrown circumstances which as a character you’re completely ill-equipped to deal with. Mike does that sort of character complication really well, and that complication can have an emotional bottom to it and it can be funny, sometimes in the same sentence.”

Read more: James Nesbitt tells us his fondest and life-changing memories

Thomson is confident the new series will be a hit with past fans. “The demand for the show is quite incredible, really,” he says. “For the last 13 years on a weekly basis a complete stranger would stop me and ask me when is it coming back. So the hunger for it has always been there.”

But the new series is calibrated to attract new audiences too. “I think it’s important that we don’t only play to our previous constituency,” says Bathurst. “It should be a series that stands alone.

Adam and Matthew, father and son in Cold Feet
Father and son, Matthew (Cel Spellman) and Adam (James Nesbitt). Via ITV

One key difference is that the original characters are joined by a new generation—their kids—led by rising star Cel Spellman as Adam and Rachel’s troubled teenager Matthew.

“Of course, I was very aware of how successful that show was, so I was nervous,” says Spellman, “but at the same time relishing the opportunity I’d been given. When I was offered the role my agent sent me the box set and I binge-watched series 1 to 5, and I fell in love with this Cold Feet world, which was still so fresh when I arrived on the set.”

He’s sure that the kids’ storylines will widen the show’s appeal to younger viewers: “I think for our generation, it’s going to be great to have a show that we can connect with. We’re going to see scenarios and situations that we can all relate to. It gives young people an insight into what it’s like to be a parent as well because of course for them it can be an absolute nightmare sometimes.”

Cold Feet will be shown on ITV from September. You too can binge-watch the previous series, Cold Feet is available in the Reader's Digest shop

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