Cold Feet: cast

John Thomson as Pete Gifford

John Thomson

John is extremely fond of Pete. "He's my favourite character of everyone I've ever played," he confesses. "I really like him. There's not a bad bone in his body. He's someone I'd go for a drink with. I'd draw the line at talking about football though because I hate it!"

Although John disagrees with Pete on the football fanaticism, actor and character are essentially very similar. "Pete is me. I play him through me—same haircut, same voice," he laughs, adding "the differences between us are that John hates football, Pete loves Man Utd; Pete is slovenly, John is quite anal; John is a lot more intelligent than Pete…!"

Having dealt with enough heartache to last a lifetime over the past three series, Pete has more to come in Series 4 with the departure of his on-screen wife Jenny, played by close friend Fay Ripley. "This series is the most tragic of all of them for Pete, the sympathy vote for him is going to be unbelievable," he explains. "There's a huge amount of self-discovery for him, from complete devastation to real 'jack the lad' behaviour to great happiness. The most sensible thing Pete does this series is follow his heart."

John has found Pete's poignant moments in this series a moving experience to film. "Normally I would pull hairs out of my nostril if I needed to cry in a scene. That is enough to do it to me. But this time I thought I'd try being a method actor so I thought about a lot of things that have happened and I just went! I've seen it played back and it was really weird because no-one sees themselves cry and to share that with ten million people is really strange!"

Despite the tears, John finds the Cold Feet set a joy to work on. "When I came back to it, it was like going back to school to see all my mates. It's like a big family really. It's my favourite show for working on. There are no agendas, no egos. We get on with the job in hand and keep each other's spirits up," he explains. "Always a pleasure, never a chore," he adds with a laugh.

John is particularly close to James Nesbitt, who plays his on-screen best friend Adam. "It's nice to do scenes with Jimmy because he is my best mate. I love working with him. We'll always be mates because he makes me laugh. He is an incredibly funny bloke."