05/09/2016 14:50 BST | Updated 08/09/2016 12:17 BST

'Cold Feet' 2016: The Real Reason Helen Baxendale Didn't Return As Rachel Bradley For New Series

'Cold Feet' is returning after a 13-year absence from our screens.

‘Cold Feet’ makes its long-awaited return to our screens this evening after a 13-year absence, and it turns out Helen Baxendale was originally planning to return with her co-stars.

This would have been a tall order, as her character Rachel was killed off in a dramatic car crash scene in the penultimate episode of the fifth series, leaving her friends reeling and her distraught partner Adam (James Nesbitt) to bring up their son alone.

Writer Mike Bullen has revealed it was his original dream to reunite the six leads from the show, one of the biggest British TV dramas of the late 1990s/early 2000s. However, he tells the Guardian that Helen Baxendale soon poured cold water on his plans to bring her back as a ghost. 

Adam and Rachel were at the centre of the original 'Cold Feet' - this time around, James Nesbitt will be going alone, after Helen Baxendale rejected the script idea

He reports her saying “Thanks but no thanks – it’s a crap part,” is how Mike remembers it, before agreeing, “She definitely made the right decision. It was just me being sentimental.”

Instead, the story picks up 13 years after we last saw Adam tearfully saying goodbye to Rachel, while their friends looked on in anguish. It’s all change in the new series, as he returns to his native Manchester to announce his impending marriage. 

The end of the last series saw big changes for Adam’s closest pals, too. Pete and Jenny (John Thomson and Faye Ripley) had got back together after a brief hiatus during which she became pregnant with someone else’s child. Karen and David (Hermione Norris and Robert Bathurst) had also seemingly gone their separate ways after mutual bouts of betrayal over the five series of the show. 

Notable newcomer is Radio 1 DJ Cel Spellman, who plays Adam and Rachel’s son Matthew. His relationship with his father promises to be at the centre of the new series, which is comprised of eight episodes. 

Tap the first picture below to open our slideshow:

Photo gallery 'Cold Feet': Where Are They Now? See Gallery