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How Helen Baxendale Could’ve Returned to Cold Feet

Cold Feet - Helen Baxendale

If you actively watched the original run of “Cold Feet” from 1997-2003, then you are all too familiar with the character of Rachel Bradley. Portrayed by actress Helen Baxendale, Rachel was married to Adam (James Nesbitt) and gave birth to their now-teenaged son, Matthew. Just as the young family was entering into a pivotal period in their lives, Rachel was tragically killed in a car accident. Sadly, this is how the fifth and once-thought-to-be final season of “Cold Feet” concluded.

When it was confirmed that a sixth season would emerge all these years later, it was fair for fans to wonder how, or if, the Rachel character would appear on the series. According to “Cold Feet” writer Mike Bullen, the original plan was to have Baxendale return in a different capacity. In fact, he actually wrote a part for the actress – as a ghost.

“[Baxendale] said, ‘Thanks but no thanks – it’s a crap part’,” said Bullen with a laugh during an interview with The Guardian. “She definitely made the right decision. It was just me being sentimental.”

Cold Feet - Helen Baxendale

During a separate interview with Express, Nesbitt admitted to missing Baxendale, but agreed that it wouldn’t have really made sense for her to return to “Cold Feet.”

“I’ve missed her terribly. She was such an important part of ‘Cold Feet’ and my professional life,” said Nesbitt. “I loved my time working with her. But it would have been stretching it a bit too far to bring her back.”

That all said, the Rachel character hasn’t been completely ignored. As you may have seen in the season six premiere of “Cold Feet,” the subject of Rachel is brought up on numerous occasions. At one point, Adam takes a terrible fall at the airport when his mind tricks him into seeing Rachel on a moving walkway. Obviously, it’s not her, but this instance lets us all know just how much Rachel is still in the heart of Adam, even though he’s moved on romantically with Angela.

This week on “Cold Feet” (Tuesday, January 10 at 8pm ET/5pm PT), as Pete chauffeurs the ‘happy’ couple away from the wedding venue Adam tells Angela that he’s changed his mind about starting a future together in Singapore. His son needs him. Angela can’t help but feel that she’s been taken for a ride.

-Adam Grant

Cold Feet - Helen Baxendale

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