'There will never be another series. We are definite about that.'
The third series of Gavin And Stacey is back on BBC One. What's new?
RUTH JONES: Well, the biggest difference in this series is that the later episodes are set in the summer, so we get to see Barry Island in the sun! And there'll be a whole episode set on the beach which was really fun to film. Loads of people were there watching too, so it was a real party atmosphere. And we were so lucky with the weather – later on in the shoot we had torrential rain, and the place where we were filming nearly flooded. So those beach days... the gods of Barry were smiling down on us then.
JAMES CORDEN: I guess the biggest change is that Gavin has moved to Barry and Nessa now lives in the caravan with Dave. We meet some new characters this time too. But the core of the show is essentially the same.
JOANNA PAGE: I can't tell you anything that happens in the new series because Ruth and James would kill me. But I enjoyed filming it. The scripts are funny and heart-warming. Stacey's enjoying living in Barry and it's very exciting that we're now on BBC One!
ALISON STEADMAN: Great to be back but I'm not going to give too much away! Pam and Mick finally seem to accept that Barry isn't such a bad place after all and pay a visit.
LARRY LAMB: Sadness. Surreal comedy. Sexiness. A sublimely sentimental yet supremely poignant ending.
How do you feel about this series being the last ever one? Was it more exciting or emotional to film?
RUTH JONES: It was very emotional filming at the end. Even from day one we all had this sad feeling about it all ending. In the final week me and Jo Page just couldn't stop crying. We were pathetic and we looked like frogs. And on the last day me and James were awash. It sounds silly I know, but it's been a big part of our lives for the past three years... But, y'know, things have to move on. As Nessa said in episode one of series one: "Times change. People move on." And they do. I like to think that we dipped into the lives of Gavin and Stacey and their family and friends for a couple of years, and now it's time to dip out again and let them get on with it. I actually do believe sometimes that these people exist! Am I going mad?
ALISON STEADMAN: I still can't believe this is the last series. It was on my mind most of the time and the final day was really emotional. It feels a real loss.
MATHEW HORNE: There were tears, yes. Mine because I tore the ligaments in my ankle two days before the end!
ROB BRYDON: It was lovely to see everyone again. We were filming in the summer, which was unusual for us; we usually shoot up to Christmas so it was a different atmosphere in as much as the weather was nice. I felt a little sad, though, knowing that this was the last series.
Is that really it? You won't be tempted to do just one more series or special?
RUTH JONES: We definitely won't be writing another series. Where would we go with it? No, it's really time to say goodbye to these characters now. But we've never ruled out the idea of a special maybe in a few years' time. Not in the near future though. James and I will definitely write together again though – we want to write a film. We've already had an idea!
It won't be a Gavin and Stacey movie! That's because both James and myself think G&S very much belongs to the little screen, not the big one. And there's nothing wrong with that. It's just the right medium for it. So why spoil it by trying to turn it into something it's not? Now Gavin and Stacey the musical... that's a different story!
JAMES CORDEN: There will never be another series of the show. I think Ruth and I are definite about that. As far as specials are concerned, I think if we had an idea for a story with these characters then maybe, but I don't think that'll happen anytime soon.
Who will you miss working with the most?
JOANNA PAGE: I think I'll miss filming with Mel who plays Gwen. When I think back to the first scenes we ever filmed together we were so nervous because everything was just starting. But now we're so close and she's become my adopted mother! I'll miss our scenes when we're trying to force omelettes down our throats! I was so upset when Mel finished the job because I felt like I'd just lost my mum.
ROB BRYDON: I suppose I'd have to say Ruth, we've known each other for years and it's been lovely working so closely with her on the show and the spin-offs like the record for Comic Relief.
MATHEW HORNE: Alison. Legend in her own boots
Can you tell us any funny stories from filming?
RUTH JONES: There's one scene in episode four where Pam and Dawn are having a conversation about a DVD. And Alison, Adrian and Julia just couldn't get through it without laughing. In the end Chris our director had to send everyone off for a tea break, and even after that they were still laughing... They got there in the end but it was a real struggle. The outtakes will be on the DVD extras!
JOANNA PAGE: There was one particular scene I did with Ruth when she had quite a funny costume on and I couldn't stop laughing. We became hysterical in the rehearsal and I nearly started crying and was told off by the producer and director and told to pull myself together otherwise nobody would get any dinner. Which just made things worse. There was also a scene where we're all eating. I didn't have any lines but Ruth did and couldn't get her words out without spitting out her food. So I nearly spoilt the shot by giggling uncontrollably when I didn't even have anything to say! And I lost all control of myself watching Rob Brydon while filming episode one. There's a point in the episode when I couldn't contain myself because Rob was making us all laugh so much.
ALISON STEADMAN: When I'd finished filming I had a day off before the wrap party so I stayed in Wales and did some sightseeing. In the middle of the day I got a photo text from our director Chris Gernon who'd fallen over in the mud while filming and was forced to change into Pammy's black jeans for the rest of the day
What is your favourite bit from the new series?
RUTH JONES: There's so much I love... There's a scene in the caravan in episode five firstly between Nessa and Neil the baby (played on that occasion by Ewan who was always superb!) and then Dave Coaches arrives I think it's maybe my favourite ever Nessa scene... but apart from that, I just think James's acting, especially in episode six, is a joy to behold. That man is so talented. He really is!
JAMES CORDEN: I really love episode six. It's everything I wanted it to be. It felt like Ruth and I could see this end point for so long, and it really lives up to everything that was in our heads.
ALISON STEADMAN: I loved Neil's christening scene. It's funny and very moving as well. My least favourite bit for Pammy is when she covers her face in a green facepack. When I saw myself I looked straight out of a cheap horror movie!
JOANNA PAGE: I have so many favourite bits from the new series. I think I have a different favourite bit in each episode. They all involve trying not to laugh at the other actors. I always love my scenes with Nessa. And there was a bit I loved when I'm sitting in the freezing cold on the back of a trailer, which was very funny, but I can't say anymore about it!
MATHEW HORNE: Bryn on the beach. It's extraordinary.
What would you like to think your character will be doing in ten years' time?
RUTH JONES: James and I were talking about this the other day. We reckon she'll rejoin the circus. And Neil the baby will learn to walk on stilts or become a trapeze artist. Nessa will inherit a couple of secondhand tigers in not very good nick and hers will be the only illegal, animal-based circus in the country. She'll be the ring mistress of course, but will smoke while doing it. And look quite bored.
JOANNA PAGE: I'd say Stacey's probably still happy with Gavin, she's also got a career. I can imagine her being an Avon representative and having parties at her house and going door to door selling make-up. She'd be living next door to Gwen and Bryn and she'd be looking after them now, instead of them looking after her.
ALISON STEADMAN: She'll be having her grandchildren to stay and spoiling them like mad (I hope).
ROB BRYDON: The same as he's doing now, but slower.
MATHEW HORNE: Speaking Welsh.
What's next for you?
RUTH JONES: My production company, Tidy Productions, which I run with my husband David, is currently filming a Christmas film for S4C which I co-wrote with Catrin Dafydd and in which I appear as a Polish cafe manager. After that I'm playing Mum in a BBC Four comedy drama by Mark Watson inspired by Dylan Thomas's Child's Christmas In Wales, which is a fabulous script. And then I'm going on holiday!
JOANNA PAGE: No idea what I'm up to next. It'll be nice to work on other things. Don't mind if it's comedy or serious as long as I have a great script to work with. I'd like to do more films and more TV and just enjoy myself.
ROB BRYDON: I'm on tour.
MATHEW HORNE: Marple. More Horne & Corden. And hopefully some sleep.
Published: 6 Nov 2009