Friends and Cold Feet have often been compared.
One is ITV’s slightly grittier Manchester story of six friends, three male, three female, making it in the big city and coping with love, heartbreak and money worries.
The other is a very similar show (at least on paper) but set in Manhattan.
Not only that but one Cold Feet alumnus, Helen Baxendale, has appeared in both shows as Cold Feet’s Rachel – Adam’s wife who died at the end of the first run in 2003. And she also played Ross Geller’s English wife Emily.
All of which makes it ripe for an in-joke and tonight that was provided by James Nesbitt’s Adam referencing one of the most famous Friends catchphrases of all.
In the rather sombre and deeply serious setting of a family meeting to discuss Olivia’s pregnancy (by his son Matt), Adam tells Matt that his mother Rachel had had an abortion two years before he was born – leading to Matt reflecting on the fact that he could have had an older brother.
“Your Mum and Dad were on a break at the time,” chimed in Olivia’s Mum Karen (Hermione Norris).
Leading to Adam saying: “Actually, I don’t think we were on a…a …” before tailing off.
It was a poignant and hard hitting scene, so full marks to writer Mike Bullen for this rather witty touch.
Cold Feet continues on ITV on Friday nights