Things You Didn't Know... - November 17, 2017

10 Things You Didn't Know About... Cold Feet
by James
James
by James hmv London, Bio "Like the legend of the Phoenix, I've just eaten a whole packet of chocolate HobNobs..." Editor, hmv.com

10 Things You Didn't Know About... Cold Feet

For several years during the 1990s and early 2000s, Mike Bullen's drama about three thirty-something couples in different stages of their relationships was ITV's flagship Sunday night drama series, winning numerous awards and running for five series before Bullen called it a day in 2003.

However, the show returned for a sixth series in 2016, with the cast of characters now in their 50s and, after a positive reception from fans and impressive ratings, a seventh series aired earlier this year,

An eighth series has already been commissioned and is due to arrive next year, but with Series 7 arriving in stores on Monday (November 20) we thought we'd celebrate the release by digging up some of the lesser-known facts about Bullen's long-running drama...

 

The show was originally set in London, not Manchester

When the show's creator Mike Bullen wrote the first draft for the pilot episode he had originally intended for Cold Feet to be set in north London. However, the setting was changed to Manchester partly because it was cheaper to film there, but also because the show's producers though that this would make the characters more relatable for TV audiences.

 

Helen Baxendale was cast partly as a result of her role in Friends, even though creator Mike Bullen hated it

Prior to Cold Feet, Helen Baxendale was the most high profile actress in the show's cast thanks to her role in hit comedy series Friends, in which she played the English wife of David Schwimmer's character, Ross. Despite being impressed by her performance, Bullen wasn't a fan of the show's other characters – in fact, he was once quoted as saying he'd like to have “taken a baseball bat to them.”

 

Both Fay Ripley and Hermione Norris originally auditioned for the part of Rachel

Although Baxendale obviously ended up being cast in the role of Rachel, she had some competition from two other members of the show's cast. Both Fay Ripley, who plays Jenny Gifford, and Hermione Norris, who plays Karen Marsden, had originally auditioned for the part before creator Mike Bullen settled on Baxendale, but he was sufficiently impressed by their auditions to offer them different parts in the series.

 

Control writer Matt Greenhalgh penned the script for one episode, but wasn't a fan of the show

Cold Feet has employed many writers over the years but one of the most notable is Matt Greenhalgh, the man behind scripts for films such as Ian Curtis biopic Control and Barbara Broccoli's new film, Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool. Greenhalgh only wrote one episode of Cold Feet, which happened to be the episode in which Rachel dies as the result of a car accident. However, the writer admitted that he wasn't really a fan of the show in general and, years later, was quoted as saying that killing off the character “was a privilege”.

 

The show shares a connection with cult 1960s TV show The Prisoner

On face value, Cold Feet could hardly be more different from the surreal series created by and starring Patrick McGoohan, in which a man awakes to find himself on a strange prison island with no memory of how he got there, but the location in which The Prisoner was filmed also makes a couple of appearances in Bullen's series. Portmerion, the town in Wales in which The Prisoner was filmed, makes two significant appearances in Cold Feet; it's where Rachel gets married, but also the site on which her ashes are scattered following her death.

 

Mike Bullen's first draft of series 6 featured Rachel's ghost

When the series returned in 2016 after a 13-year hiatus, Bullen had toyed with the idea of including Helen Baxendale's character in some way and even went as far as including a scene in the first draft which featured Rachel appearing to Adam as an apparition, but after being sent a copy of the script Baxendale declined to take part, forcing Bullen to abandon the idea.

 

Jacey Sallés was originally set to appear in just two episodes

Known for her role as Ramona Ramirez in the show, Sallés' character was initially only written in to two episodes as the Spanish nanny hired to look after Pete and Jenny's child, since Bullen was of the opinion that the couple would be likely to change their nanny several times. However, the character proved popular and Bullen decided to expand her part, which led to Ramona continuing to appear right up to the show's recent seventh series.

 

The Royle Family's Ricky Tomlinson made a cameo in one episode

Cold Feet has featured a few interesting cameos over the years, including ones by the likes of Homeland's David Harewood and Dragon's Den investor Peter Jones, who appears as himself in a series 7 episode, but Ricky Tomlinson also put in a cameo appearance in the show's early days, appearing as a taxi driver in a single episode of series 2 in 1999.

 

Bullen based James Nesbitt's character Adam on his own life

All the characters in the show were in some way based on Mile Bullen's own experiences, but that's particularly true of Adam, who Bullen modelled on the way he saw himself in his twenties. One notable exception was the storyline in which Adam is diagnosed with testicular cancer, which he based on a similar situation that had happened to Andy Harries, then head of Granada Television and the man who commissioned the series in the first place.

 

The show has had some impressive directors over the years

Any long-running TV show employs numerous directors, but there are a couple in particular who spent their formative years working on the show before going on to bigger things. One of these was Pete Travis, who directed 2012's 2000 AD adaptation Dredd and won a BAFTA for his TV movie Omagh, while another was Tom Hooper, the Oscar-winning director behind films such as The King's Speech, Les Misérables and The Danish Girl.

 

 

 

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