Comedy Gavin & Stacey - edit - web

Published on June 23rd, 2014 | by Martin Aston


“Gavin and Stacey”

In 2008, I interviewed Ruth Jones and James Corden about writing and starring in the BBC3 series Gavin And Stacey for Radio Times’ “One Final Question” slotGavin & Stacey - web


It’s Gavin and Stacey’s second series; what can we expect this time?

Ruth Jones: A little insight into the married life of Gavin and Stacey, and the rollercoaster ride that is marriage. They’re going to be living with Gavin’s parents, and any couple that does that can identify the potential problems.

James Corden: I think we might have created a stronger second series because there’s so much time bedding in the characters in a first series, but now it just kicks on from there.


There’s the question of your character Nessa telling James’ character Smithy that she’s pregnant and he’s the dad…

Ruth: I don’t think we could have drawn it out any longer. In a way, we feel episode three of this new series is when the second series really begins. You see life back to normal for Gavin and Stace in the sense that the first two episodes are quite dramatic.

James: Well, dramatic for us. But not compared to Spooks!

 Ruth, is that really you driving a proper truck in the new series?

Ruth: Yeah. I so enjoyed that. But I was so full of myself, after four days of filming, that on the last day, all I had to do was pull out from where I was parked and drive up the road. There was this car parked right in front of me, and I was so cool, I drove around it but without knowing, I scraped right down the side of this other car, which belonged to this pensioner; it was probably his pride and joy! Everyone was silent when I got back because they knew I’d be upset.

 James, you and Matt [Horne, aka Gavin] presented a week of Big Brother’s Big Mouth last summer and just recently a month of Big Brother: Celebrity Hijack. Do you fancy a go, Ruth?

Ruth: I’m 41, Martin! James’ talent never ceases to amaze. He went on that [ITV] improv show, Thank God You’re Here, and they asked me, but I’d be too terrified for words.

James: She’d like to read the news. I’d love to see her anchoring the news for BBC Wales. In Welsh!

Ruth: I’d love to present Antiques Roadshow. When you say, “And if you took that to auction, I think you’d get £200 for that’ and they go “Really?”, I’d love to then go, “No, you’re not really pleased about that, are you? That’s crap, you were hoping for five grand!” That, or a cookery programme.

James “I can see it already. Ready Steady Jones.

Ruth: I’d love to be a marriage registrar. I’d cry so much!

How on earth do you gear up to play “filthy tart” Nessa?

James; It’s great, isn’t it? Smithy’s about one degree from me, but Nessa’s about 180,000 degrees from Ruth.

Ruth: Actually, I recently went back to my home town of Porthcawl, to a rock night where my brother’s band was playing. I realised then where Nessa came from, because I saw this woman in a leather jacket, headbanging away. So there’s a big bit of Nessa in me, I reckon. One of the original thoughts we had for her was that she sang Wild Thing at friend’s wedding, which is something that I’ve been known to do. A friend of mine reminded me, it’s not just weddings – I sang Wild Thing at her father’s wake in 1997!

Living in Cardiff, Ruth, have you recently fallen into a time rift?

Ruth: What do you mean?


Ruth: [laughs]. I hadn’t watched it until I was in it [she plays the mum of the missing boy in episode 11), but it makes Cardiff look absolutely amazing, almost New Yorkish.

JC: When we were filming Gavin and Stacey, me and Matt] had a flat just around the corner from Torchwood’s main base, and I never saw them once. Where do they park that van?

James, Alan Bennett, who wrote The History Boys in which you made your name, encouraged you to write your own stuff: did he comment on Tgavin and Stacey?

After the first series finished, he left the loveliest message on my phone, saying, “I couldn’t be prouder” and, “it’s brilliant, James, because you care about every single person in the show, and that’s a hard thing to do”.

Will there be more Gavin and Stacey?

Ruth: When we first wrote it, we thought it would be a one-off special, so that’s what we’re doing next.

James: A third series isn’t out of the equation but we won’t make another series this year. But we are writing a modern day musical TV adaptation of Cinderella, which will tie in a ‘search for a Cinderella’ show for Comic Relief that Richard Curtis is producing. When we get a minute, we’ll write it!

You’re so popular, there’s even going to be an American Gavin & Stacey.

Ruth: Yes, NBC are doing a pilot. They’ve put a group of about five writers on it, though we are executive producers.

James: Some of the writers have worked on Sex and the City, and The Larry Sanders Show. We’ll have to let go of it because our Gavin and Stacey is just that. I’m just honoured that someone else would want to make a version of it, which is testament to the show’s universality. I think it could be one of the shows that do work over there.

One Final Question: one reviewer called your show, “predictable, old-fashioned and wearing,” so not everyone loves you. Do you ever fear you’ve created My Family for the Next Generation?

Ruth: People have described it as sickly and sweet, but if you’re really watching, there are moments where you can’t possibly call it that. Anyway, I can understand why somebody would level the criticism that it’s pedestrian, but we revel in ordinariness! But you know, nobody’s ordinary. People are amazing.

James: I don’t even know what ordinary is! All we’ve done is write about people who hold a mirror up to the world. The stuff I love – The Royle Family, Seinfeld, Mike Leigh, Alan Bennett – is about the human condition, and, ultimately, Ruth and I still live in the world that we care about and want to write about – Ruth’s in Cardiff, I’m in Buckinghamshire, so neither of us is strutting around Primrose Hill every day!”

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