Cold Feet fans have been put through the wringer many times over the last 21 years of the ITV drama about the Manchester gang.
Series eight, starting in January 2019, is going to be no exception.
Fay Ripley’s Jenny is set to face a devastating cancer scare in episode one in a story that will drive the series and impact the lives of all the ‘Feeters.
It was a storyline that Ripley said she was determined to get right.
“They asked me how I’d feel about it and I said I wanted it dealt with properly because of the weight of that responsibility,” Ripley said at a screening of episode one. “And because so many people I know are affected by breast cancer and cancer in general. And that’s life at the moment.
“We have seen this story with shows but I wanted it to be real. Sometimes it’s going to be funny, sometimes it’s going to be scary. I just want it to be honest.”
Ripley acknowledged that cancer is a familiar subject in TV dramas but said she wanted to tackle it with authenticity above all else.
“[Other dramas] might show it where the character looks for support and gets the support. But this character [Jenny] doesn’t tell anybody,” she said. “She’s flawed. It’s maybe not the kindest thing for her husband. In a way it’s her way of saying, ‘I don’t know what to do, because I’ve never had cancer before’.”
Ripley added that the show’s creator and lead writer Mike Bullen also took advice on how the story should develop, but said that she didn’t need to research for the storyline because it’s “so much a part of our lives and my life in that I have had so many close friends and family that have had breast cancer.”
The series will contain plenty of other surprises, including the promise of a potential romance in later episodes.
Many of the cast are understood to have been surprised with some of the plot developments.
As Hermione Norris, who plays Karen, put it: “I signed up for this series 21 years ago and Mike Bullen is my puppeteer,” she said at the screening.
James Nesbitt, who plays Adam in the ITV series, said, “It’s always good that Cold Feet throws up things that are believable and also thing that make you go, ‘Jesus Christ!’.”
In series eight Adam also faces some home truths, including growing older and the difficulty and embarrassment he faces getting back into the dating game.
Nesbitt said Adam had “lost a bit of his likability” in the last series when his character was caught having an affair – and he says he was determined to get it back.
He added, “What has always been strong about that character and why it worked was his likability. However idiotic, selfish or embarrassing he is there has always been a likability in him. And if you lose that in him then he becomes a character who’s getting a bit bitter as he gets older.”
Bullen has said that he believes that this is the best series of the show since it returned for series six in 2016 following a 13-year gap.
The team is also said to be pleased that the show is moving from Friday nights, where it has aired for the last two series, to Monday nights. Monday was Cold Feet’s traditional home in the schedules before the reboot.
Cold Feet series 8 starts on ITV in January 2019
This article was originally published in December 2018