James Nesbitt and Hermione Norris on why the time is right for the return of Cold Feet

Robert Bathurst, James Nesbitt and Hermione Norris in Cold Feet.

NEWS of Cold Feet’s comeback has truly ignited viewers love affair with the comedy-drama, which first aired back in 1998.

Fans of the era-defining ITV classic can expect to rejoin the show’s original gang — Adam (James Nesbitt), Pete (John Thomson), Jenny (Fay Ripley), Karen (Hermione Norris) and David (Robert Bathurst) — bar Helen Baxendale, whose character Rachel was killed off in the last series, as they navigate the minefield of middle age.

But don’t expect them to have grown wiser.

Packed with highs and lows, the eight-part series — written and conceived once again by creator Mike Bullen — follows the fivesome as they tackle friendships, relationships, parenthood and love in the 21st century, all of which is shaken by Adam’s homecoming to Manchester after a stint working abroad.

Here, two of the show’s stars reveal why the time was right for a reunion.

JAMES NESBITT

“I never thought we would do it again,” 51-year-old Nesbitt confides, having steered his character through the tragic loss of Adam’s beloved wife Rachel in the last series.

“Then I opened the script and thought, ‘Oh my God, there they are’. Enough time had gone by. Those familiar yet distant characters leapt off the page, and they still had something to say.”

The Irish actor admits there was a bit of trepidation about the idea of working with the gang again, but that quickly went out the window when it transpired everyone easily gelled — including newbie Ceallach Spellman, who he’s “proud to have as his on-screen son” Matthew, who is now 15 years old.

[timgcap=Pete Gifford [John Thomson] and Adam Williams [James Nesbitt] in Cold Feet.]ColdFeetCast2016a_large.jpg[/timgcap]

“It was amazing. We slipped right back into it and were surprised at how much we were enjoying it,” Nesbitt adds. “We all looked at each other in one of the very first scenes we filmed and just laughed, thinking, ‘Here we are. We’re back’.”

HERMIONE NORRIS

Worried a new series could undo the show’s previous success, Norris, 49, admits she needed some persuading to take part.

“It’s that thing in life — you think, ‘Don’t go back, just move forward’, and it [Cold Feet] was so of its time and so loved, I felt it was maybe best left alone,” she explains, admitting “the weight of expectation and responsibility to make something again that people will love” was a lot of pressure.

After her divorce from David, Norris’ character, Karen, is wondering what’s next, having made it out the other side as a successful career woman and single mum to their three kids.

In real life, however, the actress is feeling much more together in the last year of her 40s.

“I really, really appreciate that, being with my generation,” she enthuses. “There’s a weight of experience that you just don’t have as a 30-year-old, and I wouldn’t trade that for anything. I love it; I find it a relief.”

The new series of Cold Feet starts on UTV Ireland on Monday, September 5


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