Fay Ripley has said the new series of Cold Feet will see her character Jenny Gifford find “a great light at the end of the tunnel” following her breast cancer diagnosis.
The end of the last series of the long-running comedy-drama saw Jenny dealing with cancer treatment with her husband Pete (John Thomson) by her side.
When the show returns later this month – also starring James Nesbitt, Hermione Norris and Robert Bathurst – Jenny will be in the final weeks of her treatment.
Ripley said there will be “a lot of hope” for Jenny but warned that her character would still have much to overcome.
She said: “Jenny was, in the last series, very reluctant to tell Pete straight away because she knew what that would mean for him and she knew what that would mean for her kids – so she delayed that.
“As much as she wanted the support, it’s that thing of handing the cancer over to them.
“Now I think she’s in a ‘Right, let’s get on with life…’, but I think she’s keeping a lot to herself and there’s still a lot for her to deal with.
“But hopefully with the show there’s a great light at the end of the tunnel – with her particular cancer and her particular journey, there is a lot of hope.
“There sometimes isn’t for other people, but there certainly is for her character.”
The pilot episode of Cold Feet aired in 1997 with the first full series beginning the following year.
The programme, created by Mike Bullen, followed the romantic fortunes of three couples in Manchester.
The revival in 2016 picked up with characters as 50-somethings battling the stresses and strains of middle age.
Ripley said that since the show had returned to screens she had been approached by fans about her character’s diagnosis.
She said: “The main thing for me is in the street you meet a lot of people, and I really do chat to a lot of people because it’s a story line where people want to come up, introduce themselves, tell me their story…
“It’s often so moving I find myself hugging on trains or in the supermarket and we’ll sort of go, ‘Good luck’ or ‘Please send your sister my love’ and we’ll do a selfie and ‘Good luck with your treatment’.
“And obviously social media is a big outlet for that, and I’ve talked to a lot of people on social media about their own journeys – and I’ll probably continue to, I imagine, after this series goes out.
“It’s a huge privilege to do that because people are so brave and I admire people so much, they’re so courageous, because I am just pretending.”
Series nine of Cold Feet begins on January 13 at 9pm.