Cold Feet's John Thomson: 'There's definitely more tragedy than comedy for Pete'

John Thomson plays Pete Gifford in Cold Feet
(Image credit: Big Talk Productions / ITV)

As Cold Feet continues, John Thomson reveals there are some very tough times ahead for Pete...

When Cold Feet returned last week, after 13 years away, fans were delighted to see the five friends from Manchester back together again. But it seems that life hasn't been kind to Pete and, on Monday, he's struggling to cope, as John Thomson reveals...

Were you keen to rejoin the series after 13 years? "I was, but I did want to get a consensus of opinion on it, so I remember doing a ring-around of the others. The analogy I’ll make is of the bank robber that wants to go straight and all the old cons come knocking, saying: ‘One more job?’ He slides out from under the car and they ask him and he goes: ‘No, no, NO!’ It felt a little bit like that. But then there was an epiphany moment when myself, James (Nesbitt) and Robert (Bathurst) were in the pub and went: ‘It’s just like old times’. So I feel very fortunate."

John Thomson plays Pete Gifford in Cold Feet


In the 13 years that Cold Feet was off our screens, did the public still ask you about the show? "Oh god yeah. For the last 13 years, there's not a week that's gone by when some stranger hasn't asked when's it coming back. I was still being asked right up to the week we started filming this series and I had to reply: 'It's not for me to say!'"

More than six million viewers tuned into watch the first episode. What do you think is the secret to Cold Feet’s success? "Well, it is a strong core cast, the characters are strong and we gel so well together. There have been copycat Cold Feet attempts over the years that haven’t paid dividends, but I think the beauty of our show is that we have a strong ensemble cast - we’ve all forged friendships off-camera and that shows on screen."

From what we saw in Monday’s episode, we get the feeling that your character, Pete, is not entirely happy with his lot, as he approaches his Fifties. What's going on with him? "Pete was hit hard by the last recession; after being laid off he’s had to deal with all the ripple effects of that. So he’s now working two jobs but he’s struggling to make ends meet. He’s really not in a good place and it’s becoming a real test for his family."

Fay Ripley plays Jenny Gifford in Cold Feet


Generally, though, what is Pete’s relationship like with Jenny (Fay Ripley)? "Well, on the plus side, Pete and Jenny are reunited and they’ve ironed out all their differences, so they’re happy together again, which is good. That said, at the end of series five, Jenny came back for Helen’s funeral, obviously pregnant, and that child, Chloe, who’s now a teenager, is not Pete’s. So that’s another issue that needs to be dealt with."

Watch a clip from Monday's Cold Feet:

James Nesbitt plays Adam Williams and John Thomson plays Pete Gifford in Cold Feet


On Monday, Adam (James Nesbitt) tries to cheer Pete up by taking him to watch Manchester United play at Old Trafford. What was it like filming those scenes? "I hate sport and I don’t drink. Drinking a pint watching football is my absolute idea of hell. And I wouldn't be seen dead in a football strip!"

It seems that nothing can put a smile back on Pete's face. Could his low mood be a sign of something more serious? "Let's just say, Pete’s greatly challenged this series and he has to try and find a way of putting everything right. There’s definitely more tragedy than comedy for Pete this time round."

Cold Feet continues Mondays at 9pm on ITV.

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Victoria Wilson
Feature Writer for What’s on TV, TV Times, TV & Satellite Week and

With over 20 years’ experience writing about TV and film, Vicky currently writes features for What’s on TV, TV Times, TV & Satellite Week magazines plus news and watching guides for, a job which involves chatting to a whole host of famous faces. Our Vicky LOVES light entertainment, with Strictly Come Dancing, Britain’s Got Talent and The Voice UK among her fave shows. Basically, if it’s got a shiny floor, she’s all over it! When she’s not watching TV, you might find Vicky in therapy… retail therapy that is!