Cold Feet star James Nesbitt has said the new series of the ITV comedy will see his character go to a “painfully embarrassing” place as he struggles to embrace maturity.
The 53-year-old reprises his role as Adam Williams in the long-running drama, which returns to screens for an eighth season early next year.
It will see Nesbitt’s alter-ego Williams, a charismatic womaniser, grappling with the maturity expected of a middle-aged man.
Nesbitt said Williams would experience a “big eye-opener” but that it would involve him going to a “painfully embarrassing” place.
He said: “I think rebooting this series has served me well as we go into our middle-ages.
“I felt that by this series it was time Adam and the writers moved on slightly from this: ‘Will Adam settle down or how do we deal with his age?’
“I think they’re going to deal with it in this series, and I think to do that you have to get to that place where it’s almost painfully embarrassing.
“Sometimes for people who are in complete denial about things, they need a very big eye-opener and I think it comes and it’s delivered through humour and pathos and embarrassment and awkwardness, it encompasses all of those things and we get to somewhere by the end of it.
“He certainly doesn’t change overnight, but only then can you begin to move him on.”
Cold Feet returned in 2016 after a 12-year hiatus, with more than six million viewers.
It saw Nesbitt, Hermione Norris, Fay Ripley, John Thomson and Robert Bathurst contending with the stress of middle-age.
The Northern Irish actor said he thought the immaturity of Williams, as well as of men in general, stemmed from a fear of women.
He said: “I think men are terrified of women, not because they’re scary but because they’re more capable and developed and can better men so much more easily than the other way around.
“I grew up with three older sisters so there’s an element of my philosophy attached to that.
“Men can be violent towards women sometimes.
“I imagine that’s because they think that’s the only way they can better them.
“That may be very simplistic.
“Sometimes men are childish in front of women to try and get a reaction because they don’t know what the balance is, I don’t think.
“And also I don’t think they want to grow up as quickly.”
The Manchester-based series originally ran for five series between 1997 and 2003, with more than 10 million tuning in for the emotional finale.
Cold Feet returns to ITV in the new year.