Gavin And Stacey Christmas Special is a 'Brexit-free sanctuary'
Gavin and Stacey are back for Christmas, but after 10 years away from our screens there’s one topical issue they won’t be discussing.
Actress and co-creator Ruth Jones tells Sky News: “There’s no mention of Brexit in the show. And I think that’s as it should be.
“It’s nice to have a little sanctuary in amongst it all, a little oasis in amongst everything else.”
The one-off special brings the Shipman and West families together for Christmas dinner in Wales, with all the main cast reprising their roles.
They agree, it’s a good thing the show’s a politics-free zone.
Matt Horne, who plays Gavin, says: “When the first series one came out, there was a lot of very dark comedy around, and Gavin And Stacey was the opposite. It was very idealistic and warm with lots of pathos as well as laughter.
“I think sociopolitically at the moment this is exactly what we want. We don’t mention Brexit at all, which I think is just what everybody needs.”
Alison Steadman, who plays Gavin’s mum Pam, says: “Every time you turn on the news, it’s that depressing. So we need something to cheer us up.”
Rob Wilfort, who plays Stacey’s older brother Jason, jokes: “Jason lives in Spain, I think he’s very worried about Brexit.”
And it’s not only the political landscape that’s changed since Gavin And Stacey first hit our screens back in 2007.
The show’s co-creator and star, James Corden has done the seemingly impossible, making it in America as the host of The Late Late Show for the last four years.
Corden’s success has meant that he and Ruth Jones had to negotiate writing the show together across continents.
Despite the physical distance, Jones says things quickly fell back into place: “We just sort of slotted back into working together really, like we hadn’t been away. We’re just really childish together, we just get back into the groove.”
The rest of the cast agree that US fame hasn’t turned Corden’s head.
Steadman explains: “People have asked me, ‘Is he a bit starry now?’ But he’s not, he’s James and he always will be. He’s not that kind of guy.
“And he’s got three lovely kids who came on set, the older ones not the baby. It was just so nice to see him again, and his wife [producer Julia Carey].”
Melanie Walters who plays Stacey’s mum Gwen agrees: “James was delightful, absolutely a joy. Really generous and welcoming and happy that we were all back together. “
However, while Corden may be the same, the public reaction to the 41-year-old is now very different, with hundreds of people waiting at each filming location in the hope of catching a glimpse of him.
Actor Rob Wilfort describes one cast night out with their co-star: “Going out for a drink with James in Cardiff was quite an experience… Not because of James – he’s the same as he ever was, but because of people’s reactions to ‘global superstar James’.”
“We went clubbing in Tiger Tiger. We got there and we had to have security guards come in. They had to ring-fence us off because of all the people who wanted selfies.
“James deals with it very well, he’ll always give anyone a photo who wants one. But that was very different to when we used to go out for a drink during the first series and everyone ignored us.”
Of course, the success of Gavin And Stacey has given a glow to all the cast.
Rob Brydon, who plays Uncle Bryn and had to miss the rehearsal period as he was filming the fourth series of The Trip with Steve Coogan, admits: “I felt like I was one of the Backstreet Boys. I thought, ‘This is how they must have felt in their heyday’.
Larry Lamb, who plays Gavin’s dad Mick, agrees: “I got the royal treatment when I went down to Marcos [the Barry Island cafe made famous by the show] on a Sunday.
“I ate 450 ice-creams, had 600 selfies, and signed a lot of people’s backs, fronts, arms and legs. It felt like I was Pope for the day.”
The Gavin And Stacey Christmas Special will air on Christmas Day at 8.30pm on BBC1.