John Thomson thought he’d caught a disease after jumping in canal filming Cold Feet

Cold Feet star John Thomson felt so ill after jumping into a Manchester canal during filming, he thought he’d caught a disease – but in fact it was kidney stones.

The actor, who plays Pete Gifford in the hit show, got sick after telling bosses he didn’t need a stuntman for the scene, where he jumps in to save a man’s life.

He said: “You can get Weil’s disease [a bacterial infection] from that water and it’s really, really bad. They’d booked a stuntman for health and safety, but this stuntman just climbed in. I went, ‘I could do that! I just copied what he did.’

“But then I got really ill. Two weeks later I went, ‘I ain’t coming in.’”

John Thomson thought he'd caught a disease after jumping in canal filming Cold Feet

John filming the wet scenes
(Image: ITV / Big Talk)

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The Fast Show star was diagnosed with kidney stones and needed surgery, which threatened to disrupt filming.

“I had two procedures in the middle of filming,” John, 49, said. “I’ve not been ill for 12 years so it came as a shock.”

But he was back at work after six days. “The show must go on!” he laughed. “The producers were panicking. I was exhausted, though, when we finished.”

John Thomson thought he'd caught a disease after jumping in canal filming Cold Feet

The Cold Feet cast
(Image: ITV)

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In the opening episode Pete performs CPR on the man he’s just rescued – to the beat of 70s disco hit Staying Alive, sung by James Nesbitt who plays Adam.

John says the technique could prove useful for viewers: “We are actually creating awareness with the Staying Alive thing,” he added.

  • Cold Feet, ITV, Monday, 9pm

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