Cold feet? John had cold everything!
THE hit comedy drama Cold Feet first aired in 1997, ran until 2003, and then returned in 2016, so you could be forgiven for thinking that the cast now know exactly what’s expected of them. But it seems they’re still being faced with new challenges – for example, this opening episode finds John Thomson in a canal after his character Pete saves a student from drowning.
The actor explains: “It was really me in the canal. It’s not a double. There’s a lot of rubbish in those canals. I said, ‘I could feel Victorian skulls cracking underneath my feet.’ The bottom drops away like quicksand in parts. And there’s other bits where you can stand on a plateau.”
That wasn’t the only danger. He says: “I wore a wet suit underneath the costume but it was still so cold. We also had to be covered because of health and safety. You can get Lyme disease because of the rats. So one of the things you have to do is drink copious amounts of full fat cola after you’ve been in because that kills Lyme disease. Although I don’t think they’ll market it that way.”
Luckily though, it seems that getting literal cold feet (and cold everything else) is a small price to pay for being back in the revived drama – and John is particularly excited about the new run.
He says: “I knew just how good this series was at the script readthrough before filming. There were tears and applause. It had a really good feel about it. Hermione Norris (Karen) said, ‘The magic is back. It’s Cold Feet as we always had it in our hearts.’ So I’m very excited about that.
He adds: “We have learned a lot since Cold Feet returned and it has paid dividends. The scripts are strong and it’s genuinely a nod to the old. There are parts of this series where you think, ‘Well you didn’t see that one coming, did you?’”
We’ll get our first insight into what some of those surprise may be tonight, as Adam (James Nesbitt), who has been wondering if he’s lost his mojo, catches the eye of an attractive younger woman – but his son’s reaction take him by surprise.
Jenny (Fay Ripley) receives some unexpected news, while Karen is shocked to learn that her son Josh has dropped out of uni, but at least she’s more understanding than his dad, David (Robert Bathurst).
For some viewers, the biggest surprise may be that the characters’ kids – who were born during the course of the original run – are now old enough to be dropping out and giving their parents some harsh home truths. And that’s something John can empathise with.
He says: “It hard to believe [Pete’s stepdaughter] Chloe is now 15 and how the kids on Cold Feet have grown up. It is terrifying. My daughter is 16. Which is a massive shock to me. A young woman now.
“Myself and Fay have got children who are around the same age as our children in the show. Which obviously helps. But they grow up so quickly now.”
John Thomson, pictured with Fay Ripley, had to wear a wet suit for canal scenes in tonight’s episode.