The Cold Feet cast have revealed how their return to filming had a sombre start after the Manchester Arena bombing, where 22 people were killed after Ariana Grande’s concert.
“It was horrible. Just horrible,” said John Thomson, who plays Pete.
“I couldn’t wait to get home to my girls that night, as we nearly went.
“We couldn’t get into town because town was shut down. We re-jigged the schedule and went to the studio. “
He paid tribute to the Cold Feet team, saying: “Credit to everyone that day, crew especially and cast.”
They were meant to be filming on 23 May in St Ann’s Square, where flowers were laid in tribute to the victims of the bombing the day before.
Fay Ripley, who plays Jenny, said: “The first thing you think is – we’re in Manchester, working with people who are friends. The first call you make is ‘is everyone okay?’
“Then you look to Manchester. You try to behave in a way that’s responsible. My kids came up about a week after. We all went to St Anne’s Square, something I know they will always remember.”
Hermione Norris, who plays Karen, added: “It’s a small community and it was felt incredibly strongly.”
Last year’s series was a huge success for ITV and was very warmly received after its 13-year gap.
“It was an enormous relief that people welcomed us back with open arms,” admitted Ripley.
“We didn’t have an example – it was the first experiment of bringing something back after (more than) 10 years. But it’s the same characters so why wouldn’t you be interested?”
But after that success, Thomson said it wasn’t easier this time round.
“The pressure was huge, it’s harder in a way – like the difficult second album.
“To be honest when I had my storyline pitched to me I was a bit underwhelmed.
“Because we went in guns blazing the first time round, we had to bait the audience because it’d been 13 years so we had to go in strong.
“You can’t go in on popularity stakes alone, that’s so arrogant, so we had to have decent, meaty storylines and it worked.”
“What I had to appreciate is once we’d now established ourselves you can build slowly to a bigger thing.”
Ripley said the audience could look forward to a few surprises along the way.
“There may be some cameos, famous cameos coming up. I’m not allowed to say who or when, but there might be fun to be had. Some people you might recognise.”
Between the last series and this one, Nesbitt made headlines after he made an impassioned speech about equality for actresses at the Bafta TV Awards. Something his co-star Ripley approved of.
“I think it’s great to have someone stand up and defend women in the workplace. I’ve paid for a taxi for James to go and renegotiate my salary.
“Obviously I am joking – in Cold Feet we don’t have a gender issue. If there is any (disparity) it’s not because of that.”
Nesbitt has a slightly different memory of it, joking that she was a “nightmare” with teasing him over his speech. But he’s glad he did it.
“I didn’t want to become the spokesperson for it, but I’m very, very happy to be part of the campaign for the equal representation of actresses.
“Society is absorbing on a daily basis – particularly the young – that even though there is a 50/50 split for genders, for every female part there’s three male parts.
“That is absorbed by my children and anyone’s children on a daily basis – subconsciously or consciously – it is bound to have an impact on actual equality and who has power and who has influence.”
He added: “You know what was funny was my eldest daughter sent me a text having seen it saying ‘You go girl’, which I thought was very good.”
As for the success of this series John Thomson said another series is not definite.
“Everyone goes ‘oh it’s in the bag’ and you go ‘not in this day and age, absolutely not’.
“You cannot rest on your laurels. It’s best to go in with low expectations.”
And Robert Bathurst, who plays David Marsden said it would be fine if this was the end for the time being.
“If we do no more that’s that, and in a sense it might allow us to get older, and creatively it could become open ended until we die – we might just do a couple here and a couple there until we’re 105.”
This is an idea Thomson is fully on board with.
“We’ll do it now in our 50s, sit on it a bit and come back in our 70s. I’m glad that’s the idea because I’m a comedy actor and my pension was going to be Last of the Summer Wine – they all rocked up in that – that was our pension but it’s gone now.”
The West End opening of Hamilton has been put back a fortnight, due to delays in restoring its London home.
Previews will now begin on 6 December, with the musical’s opening night now taking place on 21 December.
Co-producer Sir Cameron Mackintosh said “tight time constraints” and “unhelpful problems” had prompted the “pragmatic decision” to delay the show’s opening.
The hit Broadway musical uses hip-hop and rap to tell the life story of one of America’s founding fathers.
Thousands of ticketholders are likely to be affected. It was due to start running on 21 November.
“We are extremely sorry to disappoint patrons who we know expended time, effort and valuable resources to purchase tickets for our first performances,” said producer Jeffrey Seller.
“They will be given immediate priority so that they can be re-seated as early as possible.”
The musical will be housed in the revamped Victoria Palace Theatre, which is being developed amid a massive redevelopment in Victoria.
Sir Cameron said time constraints to access to land around the theatre have not been helped by the theatre being built over a huge, active sewer, the 200-year-old King’s Scholars’ Pond sewer.
“It has been an extraordinary undertaking, both thrilling and fraught, not only because of the complexity of putting what is practically a brand new building into the shell of a much-loved historical masterpiece, but because it was also the ideal theatre for the most eagerly awaited American musical in decades, Hamilton.”
He thanked his team “working often around the clock to get the theatre ready”, adding he looked forward to welcoming theatre-goers to the newly constructed theatre.
The two men are known for their public tantrums, and the casting has already been hailed as “perfect” by critics, who congratulate Shia for finally being able to “channel his anger into something more than tabloid fodder”.
For the 31-year-old hothead, though, playing McEnroe was a “cathartic” experience.
“Me and him have a lot of similarities, a lot of parallels in our lives,” he said at a press conference on Thursday.
“I’m very proud of the movie and I think it expresses something I feel deeply and I’m honoured to have been a part of this and be able to share it.”
Borg/McEnroe centres on the lives of two of the greatest tennis legends of all time, Bjorn Borg and the so-called New York “superbrat” John McEnroe.
The two clashed in the famous 1980 Wimbledon final, which was seen as psychological duel between the two men.
But Shia’s role has been widely considered to be the best of an otherwise “badly written, super chintzy biopic formula crap”.
The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw criticised actor Sverrir Gudnason, who plays Bjorn Borg, saying his “performance seems set on showing us that underneath that bland, slightly dull exterior there was a… well, let’s just say he seems the complete master of his personality”.
Shia Labeouf is *perfect* in BORG / McENROE, which makes it extra frustrating that this trite movie totally wastes his performance. #TIFF17
Eve England: “This is Dunstanburgh Castle, Northumberland, with cows in the foreground. I had been visiting nearby Craster since childhood and walked up to the castle with the dogs. It is pure joy, whatever the time of year, whatever the weather. There are always cows, sheep and oystercatchers in the fields and ever-changing views to the sea.”
Berge died in his sleep on Friday, at his country home in Saint-Remy-de- Provence, southern France.
Considered one of the most influential figures in the country, Berge was a campaigner for gay rights and donated part of his fortune to AIDS research.
He was at times both Saint Laurent’s right-hand man and his partner, helping him to become Christian Dior’s successor in France’s haute couture.
Berge and Saint Laurent were joined in a civil union a few days before the designer died of a brain tumour in 2008.
Thanks to the worldwide success of the Saint Laurent brand, Berge became a figure in the world of fashion, being elected president of the French designer’s union in 1974 and founding the prestigious French Fashion Institute in 1986.
Earlier this year, he was credited with helping French president Emmanuel Macron in office, with Town And Country Magazine calling him one of the “most powerful men in France”.
His political engagement made him Grand Patron of Arts and Culture in 2001, overseeing paintings purchase at the Louvre and the renovation of two rooms at London’s National Gallery.
“He was a magician who made his life and those who he loved a symphony of happiness,” former French culture minister Jack Lang said.
“Pierre Berge was above all a marvellous and loyal friend… who was there to take on all the good fights, the noble causes, in particular to provide the means for research to defeat AIDS.”
During his life and career, Berge was considered a confidant of powerful men such as former French president Francois Mitterrand, Jean Cocteau and Albert Camus.