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Cold Feet hot property James Nesbitt see profits soar

By Gordon Deegan

Co Antrim born actor James Nesbitt had a very successful 2016 financially after the return of the hit series Cold Feet and Sky drama Lucky Man saw accumulated profits soaring at his firm to almost £3.3m.

That is according to new accounts lodged by Nesbitt's Brown Cow Films Ltd, which show that the firm enjoyed its best ever year with accumulated profits jumping by £691,087, rising from £2.599m to £3.29m in the 12 months to the end of March last.

Cold Feet is where Nesbitt first gained notice in the 1990s, and it returned to our TV screens last year after Nesbitt signed up to rejoin the other key cast members from the original series. The series followed Nesbitt performing the star role in the new Sky drama Lucky Man last year, and the actor was filming the second series in London over last summer.

The new accounts show that the firm's cash pile increased from £825,921 to £1.49m, while the amount owed to the firm by debtors increased from £819,090 to £1.42m.

The star is best known for roles in Cold Feet, Bloody Sunday, BBC's hit primetime drama The Missing, and has gained worldwide recognition after featuring in The Hobbit series of films.

The third of The Hobbit trilogy, The Battle Of The Five Armies, was released worldwide in cinemas in December 2014 generating global box office revenues of $955m.

Nesbitt's time playing the dwarf Bofur involved him spending a total of two years in New Zealand for The Hobbit series, undertaking what he called the "brutal" journey to the southern hemisphere 12 times.

The £691,087 profit enjoyed by the firm last year is almost seven times the £119,714 recorded in the 12 months to the end of March 31, 2015.

Last year Nesbitt was awarded an OBE in the New Year's honours list for services to Northern Ireland and to acting after years of work helping families affected by the conflict.

The increase in profits last year follows strong performances by his firm in previous years with profits increasing by £340,000 in 2014; £285,000 in 2013 and £425,000 in 2012.

The firm's assets include £660,851 in investments.

Nesbitt - who celebrates his 52nd birthday next week - initially had ambitions of being a teacher, but dropped out of his college course to pursue a career in acting.

On his OBE, Nesbitt said in an interview: "I've been very blessed with my work and very blessed to come from Northern Ireland, and for those two things to be on the citation was really rather gratifying."

He added that appearing in films about Northern Ireland and the bloodiest chapter in its history came with a weight of responsibility.

"You cannot help the feeling the responsibility is a wee bit heavier," he said.

"It's where I come from and it's affected so many lives, and that has been a great privilege. That is what you go into the job for - the opportunity to exercise your craft, but also say something about where you come from, to maybe have an impact."

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