Cold Feet series 5 : Playing Lee Richards
Lee Richards is the 'flirty-girty' lifeguard who has an affair with Ramona, Karen and David's nanny.
But it's a rocky relationship because he also has an eye for other women - and there are plenty of good-looking ones at the health club where he works.
Richard Armitage said he landed the role after the producer took a shine to his boots at the audition.
"They were the cheapest, nastiest brown £35 boots from Barratts, but the producer really liked them. They saved my audition because I was nervous as hell. When they handed me the script at the door, the first thing I saw was 'and he took off his top to reveal perfect abs'. I spent the whole time in agony, convinced they were going to make me strip and throw me out the door." 
But he got the role, and worked out every day to build up the required 'perfect abs'.
Lee teaches aquarobics at the health club that Karen belongs to. It's where Ramona first meets him.
"Since I'm supposed to teach aquarobics in the show, I thought I'd better see what it was all about. I can honestly say it was the most embarrassing thing I've ever done. I went with a female friend. There was me - a six foot two bloke - with all these women. They were all up to their waists in water. On me it barely reached my thighs." 
But in reality, he has a fear of deep water. "One of my earliest memories is of falling into my neighbour's pond in my pushchair. I was under the water for quite a while. Ever since, I've had a problem with deep, dark water." Luckily, during the course of the series Lee only appears in the water in one scene. 
His first day of filming the series was almost as nerve-wracking as the audition. "The first shot of my first scene was of me lying on top of Jacey [Ramona]. I had only met the girl 10 minutes earlier. Even I normally take longer than that to get a result.
"Even worse, I couldn't hear a word the director was saying because Jacey played a trick on me. She came up to me with a little bottle of breath freshener in her hand - one of the tricks of the trade - and told me to open my mouth.
"Instead, she sprayed it in my ear so for half an hour I was deaf. I was lucky I wasn't sacked from the start." 
Lee doesn't get very far with Ramona in this scene, although she does eventually let him into her bed. But that doesn't stop him seizing the opportunity to sleep with Jo, a colleague from the health club, while they're both away at a conference.
It's hard to dislike Lee. He loves women and uses them shamelessly, but he's utterly charming. When Ramona later walks out on him, he takes the entirely pragmatic step of asking her to marry him. After all, with Ramona gone, he'd have to do his own laundry...
But Richard Armitage said, "He’s not at all like me." 
 Sunday Mirror, 25th August 2002
 The Independent, 2nd December 2004
 BBC Sparkhouse press pack
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