Fay Ripley: People got their 'bits and bobs' checked after my Cold Feet cancer story

Fay Ripley in Cold Feet
(Image credit: ITV / Big Talk)

Fay Ripley on the moving reaction to her cancer storyline in ITV comedy drama Cold Feet

Fay Ripley has been overwhelmed by the response to her cancer storyline in Cold Feet.

The last series of the hit ITV comedy drama saw her character, tough-talking Jenny Gifford, diagnosed with breast cancer and Fay has been inundated with viewers telling her what the story meant to them.

People rush up and say, ‘That happened to my mum, my sister, me, my dad...' And I’ve had people texting me and coming up on the street saying, 'I never checked myself before, but I checked and something been taken out.' It’s mind-blowing,” Fay told us.

“Women of a certain age watch this show and that’s the age that need to be particularly checking their bits and bobs, so if more people have done that as a result of this story, it's a big deal to me. I have spent my whole working life going, ‘Oh well, I’m only an actor, I don’t save lives’. I won’t be saying that anymore."

The current series has shown Jenny completing her cancer treatment. But she is still struggling to cope with what the future may hold and how she should be feeling.

“Jenny feels isolated and confused about what’s next for her,” said Fay. “She’s coming out of it, but she is still on her journey. Life is carrying on but it is still impacting her family.”

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Cold Feet Fay Ripley and John Thomson

John Thomson as Pete and Fay Ripley as Jenny in Cold Feet (Image credit: ITV / Big Talk)

Whatever trials Jenny and husband Pete (John Thomson) continue to face, however, Fay was adamant that there there should be a positive outcome to the storyline.

“A friend of mine had been diagnosed with breast cancer. She’s just come through the treatment and she could only watch a bit of the show and she said, ‘Don’t let her die’ because it felt really important to her," said Fay. "So I’m glad that we’re dealing with it where there is hope. And there’s a journey that’s recognisable to people who have been touched by cancer.”

Cold Feet continues on Monday on ITV at 9pm

Caren Clark

Caren has been a journalist specializing in TV for almost two decades and is a Senior Features Writer for TV Times, TV & Satellite Week and What’s On TV magazines and she also writes for What to Watch.

Over the years, she has spent many a day in a muddy field or an on-set catering bus chatting to numerous stars on location including the likes of Olivia Colman, David Tennant, Suranne Jones, Jamie Dornan, Dame Judi Dench and Sir Derek Jacobi as well as Hollywood actors such as Glenn Close and Kiefer Sutherland.

Caren will happily sit down and watch any kind of telly (well, maybe not sci-fi!), but she particularly loves period dramas like Call the Midwife, Downton Abbey and The Crown and she’s also a big fan of juicy crime thrillers from Line of Duty to Poirot.

In her spare time, Caren enjoys going to the cinema and theatre or curling up with a good book.