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Red-hot reception for the highly anticipated return of Cold Feet as Poldark loses ground

By Ann W Schmidt

Move over, Poldark. Jimmy Nesbitt has beaten good-looking Aidan Turner to the most-watched series premiere.

Cold Feet's return to television was a huge success with critics and viewers on Monday night, surpassing BBC's Poldark viewership on Sunday.

The highly anticipated return of Jimmy and the rest of the crew reached an average of 6.1 million viewers and a peak of 6.6 million, including catch-up viewers on ITV+1, while Poldark's second series opening reached a lower average of 5.1 million and a peak of 5.3 million.

Poldark's leading star Aidan Turner is known for his good looks and physique and was even named GLAMOUR magazine's 2016 Sexiest Man. But Nesbitt, from Ballymena, stole the show this week along with his co-stars.

The cast of Cold Feet returned to the ITV drama series as Monday night's most-watched programme with Nesbitt, Hermione Norris, Ray Ripley, John Thomson and Robert Bathurst.

After 13 years away, the five friends are now wrestling with the stresses of middle age in this revival series.

Their comeback episode had 29% of television's 9pm audience, while Poldark had a 22.7% audience share on Sunday night.

Cold Feet also beat out BBC's Crimewatch by three million viewers and last night's episode of Ripper Street on BBC Two.

Crimewatch was seen by 2.7 million, not accounting for catch-up viewers, and had an audience share of 13%.

The series four episode of Ripper Street was seen by 1.8 million and reached a share of 8.6%.

Cold Feet had its first episode in 1997 and ran for five series as it followed the lives and romances of the characters.

Its emotional finale episode in 2003 had more than 10 million viewers. The Manchester-based series showed the characters as they raised children and worked through affairs and divorce.

Last night's episode showed Adam Williams (Nesbitt) returning home after working abroad, to announce his forthcoming marriage to Angela, played by Karen David.

His first marriage ended in series five when his wife Rachel died in a road crash. Helen Baxendale, who played Rachel, will not be in the new series.

Critics and fans alike responded positively to the show's return and praised its familiarity and the way it eased smoothly back into the friends' lives.

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