Characters

ADAM WILLIAMS

Portrayed by James Nesbitt

Duration: 1997 to 2003, 2016 onwards

Irish Adam has had a tough life, from the sudden departure of his father in his youth, through a battle against testicular cancer in his twenties and then losing the love of his life, and mother of his son Rachel in a car accident fourteen years ago. He picked himself up, dusted himself off and moved back to native Ireland before finally settling in Singapore where he met his second wife Angela. Their relationship was doomed from the outset for a multitude of reasons, and following the collapse of their marriage he returned home to Manchester permanently to live alongside son Matthew and a new love in his life, Tina, who is somewhat similar to his first wife Rachel.

JENNY GIFFORD

Portrayed by Fay Ripley

Duration: 1997 to 2001, 2003, 2016 onwards

Ditsy Jenny is just wonderful in every way. She has a natural sense of humour about her so that she can always manage to outwit her husband Pete. Jenny is a real family woman, and being around her children Adam and Chloe means the world to her. Alongside Pete she's had many ups and downs, from their struggle to conceive to their struggle to cope with a new life as parents. They also briefly separated, when Pete remarried and Jenny moved away to New York where she had Chloe with partner Robert. Following the death of their friend Rachel, the couple decided that they couldn't live without one another and rekindled their relationship - and are still together to this day.

KAREN MARSDEN

Portrayed by Hermoine Norris

Duration: 1997 to 2003, 2016 onwards

There's no denying that Karen is snobbish, but by far not as bad as her ex husband David. Once she gave birth to their little lad Josh back in the late 90s, he expected her to devote every living minute of her life to pandering to them both, and Karen found herself biting her tongue on more than one occasion, especially when he refused to hire a nanny. The Marsden's welcomed twins Ellie and Olivia into the world shortly prior to their nasty divorce when Karen ran off with businessman Mark Cubitt and David fell for his solicitor Robyn Duff. She's now happy being a single woman, with the world at her feet and her daughters at her side. The world really is Karen's oyster, especially with her very own publishing company on the horizon!

PETE GIFFORD

Portrayed by John Thomson

Duration: 1997 to 2003, 2016 onwards

There are two people in Pete's life - best mate Adam and his wife Jenny. Despite not being in the best financial position, Pete has always put his family, including son Adam and Jenny's daughter Chloe before himself, even at the repercussion of his health. Pete is that caring that he even once took up job as carer for an old bloke called Harry, which alternated with the taxi driving he was doing to earn some extra cash. During an extended time of separation from Jenny, Pete was married to Australian Jo, though things never worked out and he headed back to his one true love.

DAVID MARSDEN

Portrayed by Robert Bathurst

Duration: 1997 to 2003, 2016 onwards

David is by no means a family man. If anything, the birth of his son Josh in the late 90s pushed him even further away from suffering wife Karen. With every good intention at heart, David frequently finds himself in trouble. He definitely sees the world through rose-tinted glasses, and often can't see when he's blatantly in the wrong. Following the birth of his and Karen's twin daughters, they both drifted apart and David found new love in his solicitor, Robyn. Whilst the couple were together for a lot of years, she grew tired of his behaviour and threw him out of their posh Cheshire home.

RAMONA RAMIREZ

Portrayed by Jacey Salles

Duration: 1998 to 2003, 2016 onwards

Fiery Ramona is the Spanish nanny employed to take the workload off Karen who is struggling to care for her son Josh. David hates the idea of having someone else to look after his son, but later accepts her to be part of their family. Ramona is even taken away to Holy Island to celebrate the millennium alongside the group. After Josh and the twins grew up, Ramona returned to Spain but in recent years she's found new purpose in the Marsden household, as Karen's useless personal assistant.

TINA REYNOLDS

Portrayed by Leanne Best

Duration: 2016 to 2017

Adam's landlord Tina has a striking resemblence to his late wife Rachel - could that be why he's so drawn to her? Despite falling head over heels for her, it later became apparent that they just couldn't live together as Tina couldn't let her ex-boyfried go.

MATTHEW WILLIAMS

Portrayed by Ceallach Spellman

Duration: 2001 to 2003, 2016 onwards

After years struggling to have a baby, Matthew's parents Adam and Rachel finally got their golden boy in the winter of 2001. when Matthew was born prematurely in Sydney. The beginning of his life wasn't an easy one for his parents, with Adam being made redundant and Rachel being the sole breadwinner. Following the death of Rachel, Matthew was taken to Ireland with his father but later returned to Manchester and attended boarding school in the care of his godmother Karen, due to Adam's work in Singapore. He failed to bond with Adam's second wife Angela, and struggled when his girlfriend Olivia fell pregnant and her subsequent abortion.

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