Gavin & Stacey stars RETURN with ‘tidy’ new show

As it’s revealed Ruth Jones and Rob Brydon are working on a new comedy, Closer looks at what they – and their Gavin & Stacey co-stars – have been up to since the hit show

ruth Jones and Rob Brydon

by Daisy McLure |
Updated on

Fans of Gavin & Stacey couldn’t contain their excitement when reports revealed Ruth Jones and Rob Brydon – who played Nessa Jenkins and Uncle Bryn West in the hit sitcom – are working together on a new comedy.

“Just what we need after this year,” gushed one fan, while another added, “They could read the phone book and I would watch it!”

The Christmas special, set to air on the BBC, is thought to be called Ray And Gaynor and will echo the hilarity of Gavin & Stacey. It will follow two old friends, Ray and Gaynor, and filming is currently taking place in the Scottish Highlands.

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Ruth played the feisty Nessa... ©UKTV

Ruth, 54, and Rob, 56, go way back. They first met at school in Wales, where they were in musicals together, before Ruth – who co-wrote Gavin & Stacey with comedian James Corden – cast Rob as Bryn West ahead of the first episode in 2007.

Ruth, whose production company is creating the new show, credits Rob for saving her career after a pep talk he gave her in a Cardiff café convinced her not to swap acting for training as a solicitor.

Following her success with Gavin & Stacey, Ruth went on to star in period costume TV dramas including Little Dorrit and she wrote and starred in Sky One comedy Stella. Meanwhile, Rob has starred in sitcom The Trip with comedy pal Steve Coogan and took over as long-running host of panel show Would I Lie To You? in 2009, as well as being famed for a host of voiceovers.

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...and Rob won fans as fussy Uncle Bryn ©UKTV

Gavin & Stacey, which spanned three series until 2010, went on to become one of TV’s most successful comedies, winning a BAFTA and several British Comedy Awards.

The 2019 Christmas special pulled in 18.5 million viewers and ended on a cliff-hanger, with Nessa proposing to James Corden’s character Smithy. Rumours of further episodes have been shot down by Ruth as she revealed that the pandemic and James’ relocation to the US made it impossible to create new scripts.

But fans are still hoping for the much-loved show’s return, after Rob said on his podcast in April, “I think they might do one more special because they left it hanging, didn’t they, with the proposal.”

While we wait, Closer takes a look at what happened to the rest of the show’s main stars...

Sheridan Smith’s ‘happier’ after beating her demons

First making her name in sitcom Two Pints Of Lager And A Packet of Crisps back in 2001, Sheridan Smith appeared as James Corden’s character Smithy’s little sister, Rudi – a part made famous by the duo’s rapping scene. The co-stars also had a two-year relationship off-screen.

Sheridan’s absence from the 2019 special caused speculation – but she proved there was no bad blood between them when she said last year that she still has “a lot of love” for James.

Her career went from strength to strength after Gavin & Stacey, with roles in Benidorm, Mrs Biggs and Cilla making Sheridan, 40, a household name.

Her stage shows, both on the West End and on Broadway, saw the Lincolnshire-born actress win several awards, including two for her role as Elle Woods in Legally Blonde.

But her personal life has had its ups and downs over the years, with the star struggling with panic attacks, anxiety and issues with alcohol – something she’s been honest about, describing how she “fell apart completely” before beating her demons.

And 2020 proved to be her biggest year yet after she became engaged to fiancé Jamie Horn, and the couple welcomed son Billy together. She recently said she feels “happier” than ever.

James Corden is ‘homesick’ after conquering US

Since moving to LA in 2015 to host The Late Late Show, James Corden, 42, is thought to have doubled his net worth to £50m, while his US chat show has won awards including an Emmy.

His famous “Carpool Karaoke” series has gone viral several times and his recent interview with Prince Harry was so explosive that he nearly blew Oprah Winfrey’s exclusive out of the water.

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He interviewed Prince Harry ©CBS

The London-born actor and screenwriter also hosted the much-awaited Friends: The Reunion episode in May, but admits that, despite his ever-rising stardom, he and wife-of-nine-years Julia Carey are homesick for the UK.

“I have a couple of years to go on this contract. Ending the show will always be a bigger family decision than a professional one,” he said. “It will be about people at home who we miss very, very much, who we are homesick for... My wife and I have three young children [Max, nine, Carey, six, and Charlotte, three], and they are three young grandchildren that we’ve taken away from people.”

Mat Horne and Joanna Page are still BFFs

Mat Horne once revealed the chemistry between his character, Essex boy Gavin and Welsh girl Stacey (played by Joanna Page), was so crucial that producers made them kiss during their first audition.

Now, 14 years later, the pair are still friends and were spotted in a bar in Cardiff in November.

“Mat will always be in my heart because he and I went through the insane journey of Gavin & Stacey together,” Joanna, 44, has said.

The pair also share a Whatsapp group with Larry Lamb (who played Gavin’s dad, Mick West) and Joanna – who spoke about lockdown nearly causing a divorce with her husband of 18 years, James Thornton – said Larry’s “funny videos” had seen them through the pandemic.

Joanna, who has three children with James, presents on BBC Radio Wales. Matt, 42, starred in Dad’s Army: The Missing Episodes in 2019.

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When Honey Mitchell notices that the Minute Mart isn't open and Suki is grieving at home, she decides to take some dinner round to her neighbour and run the show.

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Jay gets Billy to sign Janet's modelling contract and tries to take him out for a drink but Billy refuses.

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Steffan Rhodri’s still in the driving seat

Best known as his role as David Lloyd Gooch or “Dave Coaches” – the coach driver and on-off lover of Nessa – Steffan Rhodri has one of the most impressive acting CVs of the whole cast.

The Swansea-born actor, 54, starred in a few TV and theatre shows before joining Gavin & Stacey, and has since starred in films Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows and Wonder Woman, and TV shows including Doctors and Hinterland, among over 20 more. He’s now starring in hit Welsh drama Yr Amgueddfa, or The Museum, on BBC Wales.

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