Hermione Norris talks Cold Feet, feminism and the problem with British television

"The overt sexualisation of women on TV is an issue for me. I find that really hateful," explains the In the Club star


It’s evening, and Hermione Norris settles down to watch an old episode of Cold Feet in her Hampstead drawing room…


No, I don’t live in London! I live in Somerset. And I watch films on the sofa with my children [Wilf, 11, and Hero, 8] and my two big dogs.

And if you want to watch something that’s not appropriate for children or dogs?

The iPlayer on the computer, when I’m travelling to Manchester. I’m currently filming Cold Feet there and it is seriously weird seeing 
how much everything has changed. Now young people apparently don’t even watch television. But I have joined the modern generation!

How so?

I use email and go online, but I don’t communicate on social media. I’m slightly nervous of it; I don’t want to read something that I don’t want to see. I’ve witnessed other people being burned by it.

Would sharing a house 
Cold Feet-style still appeal at the age of 49 – do you like being surrounded by people?

No, absolutely not. I’m the opposite, actually. If there’s
 a crowd, you will see me on my own in a field a mile away. I am 
an introvert with a capital I!

Did you like the idea of going back to Cold Feet?

I didn’t, to be honest. It was 
really good, of its time, and I didn’t want to undo anything positive that we had created back then. But I was persuaded it would be interesting to see how they have been dealing with things.

What else do you watch?

I don’t really watch British television. I love American dramas. It’s a luxury to get immersed 
in a long series.

Is there something wrong with British television right now?

The overt sexualisation of women on TV is an issue for me. I find that really hateful. I am a feminist and although we’ve moved forward in some areas I think we’ve regressed in a lot of others.

Can you give me an example?

I think regularly seeing women being sexually demeaned on television is not a good thing.
 If you do show that on screen then at least give a nod to it being really inappropriate and cruel; that it is not humane.

Do you try and protect your daughter, Hero, from it?

You can’t protect children from it, but I think you can help educate them to deal with it, so I just keep talking to both my children.

Are they online all the time?

I have “no screen” time at home.
If they’re on screen for a long time, you can watch their moods change in front of your eyes. For the summer holidays I think we’ll just have a “nothing after 10am” rule.

Hmmm, how do you think 
that will go?

Well, the dog attacked the cables at home, and we had a whole weekend without wi-fi. Though you don’t necessarily need a puppy to chew through the wires — you could just turn it off at the wall.


Hermione Norris is in In the Club, Tuesdays at 9pm on BBC1.