The five remaining cast members of Cold Feet have been playing their roles for more than 20 years now – so it’s not a surprise that they feel ownership of their characters.
And it is clear that they were rather surprised when the scripts for series eight episode three landed on their doorstep.
The episode included a scene where Adam (James Nesbitt) and Karen (Hermione Norris) kiss.
Sure, they were stoned when they did it, having just shared a ‘herbal cigarette’ while sitting and chilling out at a woodland music festival. And as soon as it happened, Karen was called away by a distressed Jenny (Fay Ripley).
Even so, the notion that these old friends would behave like that surprised the cast.
John Thomson, who plays Pete, said the cast engaged in a number of discussions about the plot development: “ It was the whole cast – we were like whaaaa! It was a big number really. It was a shock.”
Asked by RadioTimes.com if the storyline impacted the cast as much as the characters, he added: “Totally. We’re like family; we care about the project because we have been involved with it for so long.”
Hermione Norris was a little more circumspect in discussing the smooch.
“Who knew? Certainly not me,” she said. She added: “I signed up to this series 21 years ago. And that’s the odd thing: I play Karen Marsden in Cold Feet and Mike Bullen is my puppeteer. It’s quite an emotional thing: because you have played a character for a long time, you care deeply about the character, as their protector and champion.”
Nesbitt urged viewers to consider the context of the kiss, but admitted he was surprised: “The very fact that they might share a kiss, whatever that’s borne out of and whatever state they are in, yeah it was pretty shocking. Because that’s something an audience might… be thinking, ‘Well I wasn’t expecting that’.
“I mean that happens,” he continued. “I have slept with all my friends! That’s obviously a joke. I think it’s something you wouldn’t necessarily have imagined, but it’s good that Cold Feet does things that are hopefully believable and also, ‘Oh Jesus Christ’.”
The trip to the woodland festival was an eventful one with David (Robert Bathurst) getting stoned on hash cakes and the gang watching Jenny and Pete’s son Young Adam play in a band.
But it was also notable for the moving moment where Jenny (Fay Ripley) finally told someone about her cancer diagnosis. She broke down and told Karen how she felt about not being able to watch her son grow into a man.
However, Jenny still hasn’t told her immediate family about her condition.
Speaking about her storyline, Ripley said: “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.
“[Other dramas] might show it where the character looks for support and gets the support. But this character [Jenny] doesn’t tell anybody. 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’.”
Cold Feet continues on ITV on Monday nights at 9pm