Belfast Telegraph

Cast got Cold Feet over alcohol for return of hit drama, says star Jimmy Nesbitt

By Staff Reporter

James Nesbitt has revealed how the cast of hit TV series Cold Feet have swapped booze at work and nights on the town for a regime of herbal tea and early bedtimes.

The ITV drama will return to our screens later this year after a 13-year gap.

The new eight-part series picks up fans' favourite characters in their 50s.

Nesbitt starred in the original Cold Feet, which in 1998 rocketed him to fame alongside the likes of John Thomson, Hermione Norris, Helen Baxendale, Fay Ripley and Robert Bathurst.

In an interview about the return of the series, he said: "There's a lot of herbal teas being asked for - in the old days it was just basically pints of lager.

"But the big difference is after filming we're all in bed by 10.30 instead of 3.30am."

Cold Feet ran from 1998 to 2003 and followed the story of three sets of 20-something couples as they navigated life, love and relationships.

After an unpromising start - the pilot pulled in fewer than four million viewers - the show took off.

It was soon dubbed "the British version of Friends", and cast members became the biggest stars on TV.

Nesbitt went on to star in award-winning dramas including The Missing and Lucky Man.

But for all his A-list status, he was among the keenest to reunite with the show.

He told the Mail on Sunday's Event magazine: "I was definitely not going to be Posh Spice.

"I was in from the start. This is something very special to me."

The new series is being filmed in Manchester under the strictest secrecy.

Nesbitt admitted there were some nerves ahead of the big reunion.

"When we filmed the first time around we all shared a caravan on set, which could get pretty ripe towards the end of the week," he added.

"Now we all have a little trailer each. You slip into the same relationships, we're even telling the same jokes.

"Coming back together for the first time at the first read-through was actually great. We were all actually quite nervous.

"It was all of us, older, changed a bit but not really changed that much at all. If anything I think we are all closer now."

Nesbitt had planned not to refresh his memory of Cold Feet by watching the original series back to back before he started.

But fate intervened, bringing back forgotten memories.

He added: "I got to Manchester. I was jet-lagged, I was staying in a flat in Didsbury and I turned on the TV and there was an old episode of the show.

"It was a scene with me and Hermione smoking weed together in a toilet. I thought it was brilliant. Really funny, really true to those mad moments in your 20s, and I also had absolutely no memory of actually doing that scene. I walked on to set the next day and saw Hermione.

"I said to her: 'Do you remember the two of us smoking a joint in a toilet?' She said, 'No. You're making that up.' Neither of us had any memory of it at all."

In the interview Nesbitt is asked about claims by co-star Robert Bathurst that he scrawls OBE under his name on any photograph or set list with his name on it.

Nesbitt was awarded the honour for his services to drama and the community.

He replied: 'Robert calls me the peacock because I can be very vain. We're very different. Robert is like a cross between Terry-Thomas and Lord Charles, and then John has always been the joker."

Belfast Telegraph


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