Cold Feet co-star spills the beans on Helen Baxendale's choice to pass up reunion

Helen Baxendale played Rachel in Cold Feet until 2003

It was the love story that ran through the first five seasons of Cold Feet: Adam and Rachel. They were together, then they weren’t. She was pregnant, then she wasn’t, then she was. They got married and then… she died.

Rachel, played by Helen Baxendale, was killed in series five in a tragic car crash. So it seems obvious that she wouldn’t be in the Cold Feet reboot currently showing on ITV. Right? Not so, according to co-star John Thomson.

READ MORE: Take Me Out axed after 10 years on air

Talking on White Wine Question Time, John said there was a chance for Helen to come back in the new series – as the ghost of Rachel.

“Because I write, one of my suggestions was using the device they use in Dexter where he talks to his dead father – but not in a supernatural way,” John told host Kate Thornton.

Helen Baxendale didn't want to come back as a ghost in the current reboot of Cold Feet!

“It's like his mentor, so you see him talking to his dead father, but there's none of that people walking in the room and he's chatting to an empty chair and they go, 'What are you doing?’

“I said, 'Why don't you make Rachel Adam's romantic conscience?’ And he talks to her about, 'I don't know what to do.'”

Unfortunately for the rest of the Cold Feet gang, Helen wasn’t so enthusiastic about a spectral comeback.

READ MORE: Cold Feet Won’t Be The Same Without Helen Baxendale, Says Fay Ripley

“Helen didn't want to do it,” said John. “She just didn't want to come back. She's a mum now. She's happy, so good luck to her! The job was there but she chose to move on.” 

Speaking about the situation in an interview with The Guardian back in 2016, Cold Feet writer Mike Bullen revealed that Helen turned it down, because it was “a crap part”.

John, who plays Pete Gifford in the hit ITV drama, said there was often talk of a reunion after the first series ended in 2003.

“There was constant talk within that 13 years of it coming back,” he said. “Some was generated by the newspapers. It got to the point where I needed the smoke with the fire, you know.

The current cast of Cold Feet, which has just aired its ninth series

“Finally, we were given a tangible pilot for another go, because it was starting again really. It wasn't ‘a continuation of…’ It was almost like ‘this is another generation’. We looked at it, we liked it, and everyone agreed.”

The show, which is currently in its ninth season, first aired on ITV from 1997, running for five seasons until 2003. Talking to Kate about the end of the show first time around, John revealed he wished it had gone on a bit longer.

READ MORE: Fay Ripley on her Cold Feet cancer storyline

“It kind of came to a natural end,” revealed John, “Everyone was alright with it. I think we should have gone to six. We did five. It's a bit odd.

“I find that most things do an even number – they'll run through six or eight and finish – but to do five, there was clearly something I feel that maybe I don't know about? [Or] maybe it didn't have legs anymore.”

The final episode of the current series of Cold Feet airs on Monday 17 February at 9pm on ITV.


Hear John Thomson talk more about his role on Cold Feet, including how he approached his character’s depression storyline. Listen now on iTunes and Spotify.