Cold Feet, the long-running saga of Mancunian mates is back for series eight.
They are older – but are they any wiser?
As the action picks up Adam (James Nesbitt) is a bit forlorn – and is wondering whether his twinkly ladies man ways are a bit undignified for a man of his years. David (Robert Bathurst) has a new woman in his life – but no direction on the work front. And Karen (Hermione Norris) will no doubt be left to pick up the pieces of whatever pickle her ex-husband lands himself in.
But the most hear-wrenching storylines look like they will centre around Pete and Jenny, the solid no-nonsense pair played by Fay Ripley and John Thomson.
Come and reacquaint yourself with the gang…
Adam played by James Nesbitt
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Who is Adam? Adam is facing a crossroads. He has clearly not got over the tragic death of his first wife Rachel (Helen Baxendale) before the reboot. Since then he has mended his relationship with his son Matt, but struggled to find love. Matters reach a head in the first episode of series eight where he tries to woo a woman who turns out to be Matt’s girlfriend. Oops. Nesbitt has said that the character needs to reclaim some of his “likability”. And he’s not wrong.
Where have I seen James Nesbitt before? A regular face on TV, he has fronted his own cop show (Murphy’s Law) and put in an excellent turn as grieving father Tony Hughes in acclaimed BBC1 drama The Missing. Nesbitt also pops up in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit trilogy as the dwarf Bofur and has appeared in Stan Lee’s Lucky Man, Babylon and Monroe.
Karen played by Hermione Norris
Who is Karen? More than a decade on from her split with David, the course of love has not run smoothly for Karen. A couple of tempestuous relationships, including a dalliance with a smitten Eddie Zubayr (Art Malik) didn’t work. So she is now focusing on her growing publishing business – and the perils of rearing teenage girls.
Where have I seen Hermione Norris before? A star of spy drama Spooks (as MI5 officer Ros Myers) and ITV comedy drama Kingdom, Norris has also shown up in Innocent, In the Club, The Crimson Field and Doctor Who, with a chilling turn as Dr Vivien Lake in the recent run of Luther.
David played by Robert Bathurst
Who is David? The former management consultant is down on his luck. He nearly went to jail after stumbling into a fraud – and just avoided the clink. At the start of series eight he is reduced to working in a call centre, wrestling with the humiliation and what his own dad would have said about his predicament. Still, his love life looks to be on track with his relationship with Nikki (Siobhan Finneran). But can he cope with being, as he puts it, a “kept man”?
Where have I seen Robert Bathurst before? Bathurst has appeared in an array of dramas and comedy – he was acclaimed for his turn as John Le Messurier in the Hattie Jaques TV biopic Hattie and also as Matt Berry’s languorous flatmate Ed Howler-Black in the Channel 4 comedy Toast of London. He also showed up in Downton Abbey, playing Sir Anthony Strallen who jilts Lady Edith at the altar.
Jenny played by Fay Ripley
Who is Jenny? Her up and down marriage to Pete looks to be on an even keel – until she receives some bombshell news about her health. The strange thing is, this normally chatty and vivacious character decides (at least at first) to keep the news to herself.
Where have I seen Fay Ripley before? Ripley has an active sideline as an author of recipe books but still puts in regular TV shifts. She played against type as murderous Deanna in BBC thriller Green-Eyed Monster in 2001 and again in 2009 in ITV’s Monday Monday as alcoholic human resources manager Christine Francis. She also portrayed DI Martha Bellany in four series of Channel 5’s improvised drama Suspects.
Pete played by John Thomson
Who is Pete? Pete seems to have put his emotional troubles behind him. Earlier in the reboot he seriously considered killing himself, but returns to the theme of suicide when he saves a stranger from drowning in a Manchester canal. Only the stranger, who is called Evan, doesn’t want to be saved. And poor Pete looks set to face a tsunami of emotions when he finally discovers what is really troubling his wife Jenny….
Where have I seen John Thomson before? Beloved by fans of cult comedy The Fast Show as Jazz Club host Louis Balfour, Thomson has been a regular face on TV, with roles in shows ranging from Coronation Street to Soldier, Soldier. He’s an accomplished stand up comedian as well.
And here are some of the supporting characters…
Nikki played by Siobhan Finneran
Who is Nikki? Is it a case of out of the frying pan into the fire? Last we saw of Nikki she was escaping the violent clutches of her criminal husband (he gave her the injured nose in the picture). But her saviour? Unreliable buffoonish David. At the start of series eight she has finished her marriage with a hefty bit of alimony – and a need to support David who is none too keen on being a kept man. Will love conquer all?
What else has Siobhan Finneran been in? Siobhan Finneran made her screen debut in the hit film Rita, Sue and Bob Too and since then has popped up in an array of roles including Happy Valley, Benidorm, Unforgiven and – memorably – embittered servant Sarah O’Brien in Downton Abbey.
Matthew Williams played by Cel Spellman
Who is Matthew? Adam and Rachel’s son went to boarding school in Manchester while his Dad was away on business trips. The two have now reached an understanding and live together in (relative) harmony.
What else has Cel Spellman been in? Spellman was recently seen in C4 comedy drama Cucumber. He’s also a CBBC and Radio 1 presenter, and featured in BBC1 school drama Waterloo Road.
Ellie and Olivia played by Ella Hunt and Daisy Edgar-Jones
Who are Ellie and Olivia? Twins Ellie and Olivia, along with their older brother Josh, have grown up with single mum Karen – although their dad David is still wondering what might have been if they hadn’t divorced.
What else have Ella Hunt and Daisy Edgar-Jones been in? Ella Hunt secured a role in 2012 movie Les Miserables, and is set to appear in the next series of ITV’s Morse prequel Endeavour. Daisy Edgar-Jones, the daughter of Sky Arts boss Philip Edgar-Jones, appeared in the 2017 series of Silent Witness.
Cold Feet airs on Mondays at 9pm on ITV