“I aspire to make people laugh out loud and a tear to form in their eye.
“I feel we’ve achieved that.”
Cold Feet creator and writer Mike Bullen talking to me earlier this year about the return of the much loved ITV series.
Finally arriving back on screen at 9pm on Monday (Sept 5).
I can still recall the buzz in the room after the screening of the first episode of series one at the London launch of Cold Feet in 1998, some 18 months after the pilot was broadcast.
Interviewing the cast then it was clear they and Mike had created something very special indeed. A fresh, original, surprising series with – as in life – moments of comedy and drama entwined.
I was at the launches for all five Cold Feet series, talking to James Nesbitt, Helen Baxendale, John Thomson, Fay Ripley, Hermione Norris, Robert Bathurst and Mike about the latest in the lives of Adam, Rachel, Pete, Jenny, Karen and David.
And kept the surprise of Rachel’s shocking, out of the blue, death in the penultimate episode of what we all thought was the final series.
Fay was missing from the series five launch, having decided to take her leave of the show in episode two of series four.
But her character Jenny returned in the aftermath of close friend Rachel’s death for the final episode broadcast in March 2003.
While I was lucky enough over the years to cover one of my all-time favourite dramas in great detail from start to what we all thought was the finish.
So it was a real honour to be asked by ITV to write the interviews for the press pack / production notes accompanying the return of Cold Feet in 2016.
Along with the material in a separate brochure given to journalists at the London launch of the new series in August.
Having read all eight scripts, I joined the cast at a Shoreditch photoshoot in early June 2016 where the non-episodic images for the series were taken over the course of a day.
Including this one:
Talking to them then and witnessing the chemistry evident after all these years, it was clear that Cold Feet magic was still in the room.
Not forgetting Cel Spellman, a welcome addition to the regular cast as Adam and Rachel’s now teenage son Matthew.
There was no resting on laurels. No presumption that because Cold Feet had once been a huge hit it would happen again.
All had agreed to the return because of the strength of Mike Bullen’s new scripts, telling stories that will indeed make you laugh out loud.
As well as a tear to form in your eye.
With, as Mike explained to me, a real reason for bringing these characters back.
Having now seen the first two episodes and knowing what is to come, I’m confident fans old and new will not be disappointed.
John Thomson giving, perhaps, the performance of his life as Pete’s 2016 journey unfolds.
A few months after that sunny day in Shoreditch my media colleagues finally got to see a preview of the first episode.
I’m glad to report there was near universal approval and large amounts of praise for the return.
But, as ever, it’s up to you to watch and make your own mind up.
You’ll find links below to my interviews for ITV with James, John, Fay, Hermione, Robert, Cel and Mike.
With yet more interview material to come – that’s being held for release later in the series:
Scroll down for more production photos and also some of my Cold Feet memorabilia: