"When is Cold Feet coming back?" is a question which has followed actors James Nesbitt, John Thomson, Fay Ripley, Hermione Norris and Robert Bathurst around for 13 years, but finally they have an answer.
Monday 5th September 2016 at 9pm.
The good news is that this isn't a remake, this isn't a new series with completely new characters, all the lead cast are back, minus Helen Baxendale of course, whose character Rachel died at the end of series five and Mike Bullen, the man behind Cold Feet is also back as writer and executive producer and the series is still on ITV.
Not every return to a series after several years away works. Sometimes it looks desperate that the cast have reunited and sometimes the scripts aren't very good which tarnishes the reputation of the original.
As a die-hard Cold Feet fan first and TV Blogger second, I was invited recently to attend a press screening in London where we were treated to the first episode of the brand new series as well as a spoiler-filled teaser which detailed the storylines that were to come as the eight-part series unfolds.
This was enough to reassure me that the decision to bring the series back was the right one, that the timing was perfect and that everyone involved has made it the best it can be and a real treat for the fans.
Very few television series can be defined by a font, but Cold Feet (much like Friends) can and the second the opening episode started, I felt comforted by the return of the curly font and the way in which the names appeared on the screen.
It might sound silly but when you're dealing with nostalgia these things really matter. It's an attention to detail which fans enjoy and appreciate.
The reason the series is still talked about today is because it was so well loved and whilst most of those fans are happy the series is back, they understandably have their reservations.
As did I... until I had given the new series a watch and appreciated that every effort has gone in to making it the best it can be and if I'm honest, it exceeded my expectations.
In many respects watching that first episode it felt as if the series had never gone away, except of course it did and thirteen years has passed both on and off screen. We catch up with David (Bathurst), Karen (Norris), Pete (Thomson), Jenny (Ripley) and Adam (Nesbitt) as they approach fifty. But why now?
Adam has been travelling and is coming back to Manchester with some news. Quite what that news is, I’m not allowed to reveal but it’ll be worth tuning in for, that much I am allowed to say!
Pete and Jenny are of the economic downturn. Pete is working two jobs to make ends meet and losing his zest for life. Jenny’s work as an Events Organiser is hardly raking it in and as the only couple to stand the test of time, theirs is a marriage set in stone. Or is it?
Meanwhile, David’s marriage to his divorce Lawyer Robyn has run its course. His professional life also leaves a lot to be desired and David is all too aware of the bright young things in the office ready to jump into his swivel chair. As the pressure of work and his expensive lifestyle mounts, can David retain his professional status without resorting to dirty tricks?
Karen on the other hand appears sorted and has put her marriage to David well behind her. She’s successfully climbed the ladder at work and raised three children almost singlehandedly. But it won’t be too long before the kids fly the nest and at work she’s hit a glass ceiling.
Content and confident, Karen stopped looking for love years ago, but the question is, has love stopped looking for her? As the series develops we follow the highs and lows of these much loved characters as they, like us, continue to find their way in life.
I have to give a special mention to Ceallach Spellman who joins Cold Feet as Matthew, Adam and Rachel’s son. Fed up of his fathers endless business trips, aged just 12, Matthew decided to study at a boarding school in Cheshire.
Joining such a well-established cast was never going to be easy, impressing a fanatic audience less so, but I think Ceallach has managed it.
With his father away, Karen was appointed Matthew’s guardian and as a result the two of them have grown incredibly close, a closeness he really wishes he had with his father. It’s during some really emotional scenes between him and Karen that Ceallach really shines.
Helen Baxendale may not be back in the new series playing Rachel, but her presence can most certainly be felt and it's done in a beautiful way which doesn't feel forced. There are enough mentions of her to keep the old fans happy, but not too many which will alienate first time viewers and make them think they had to have watched the previous five series.
Of course, watching the old episodes will enrich your experience of Cold Feet far more, as you'll understand the back stories of the characters and their rich history together, but first time viewers will undoubtedly be drawn in as the opening episode strikes the right balance between pleasing old fans as well as engaging new ones.
Could Cold Feet run and run again? Perhaps. Should it? I'm not sure. I think every effort has gone into making this series the best it can be, and from what I've seen, they've achieved that.
Instead, what they could do, is revisit these characters every few years when David, Karen, Pete, Jenny and Adam are at a different stage of their lives.