Sky has commissioned a third series of Ruth Jones comedy-drama Stella, months before the second has even gone out.
Jones is currently filming and writing the second run, but broke the news at the Edinburgh International Television Festival.
‘I’m really, really excited about it, ‘ she said. ‘I never thought we’d do a second series, so how exciting to be able to do a third.’
She said that the commission came from Sky entertainment director Stuart Murphy, who ‘doesn’t talk media bullshit – he cares about what his audience want’
‘Stella’s gone down well, it’s a comedy-drama that appeals to a group of people, it’s had really good feedback so I guess it makes sense to do more.’
The first ten-part series ran from January to March this year, with series two due for early 2013. The show will continue to be made by Tidy, the production company Jones set up with Stella’s co-creator, David Peet.
She said she wanted to expand the company to make new so it’s ‘not just a Ruth Jones vehicle… that will give me so much pleasure’ – even if that means passing on acting work.
‘When we set up Tidy I knew that if I didn’t commit to it, it wouldn’t succeed. I have had to turn other things down – it would be like planting a seed and forgetting to water it.’
She said that she was proud of the fact Stella was set in Wales, and got her inspiration from real people.
‘David and I were conscious that this was a network show, so didn’t want to make it excluding,’ she said. ‘But what I love is the whole melodrama of being Welsh – we are as a nation are more melodramatic. Everything is much bigger. I heard a woman on the train to London the other day say, “Well, you are always very adventurous with cheese”.
‘I note things like that down on my phone. Somone the other day said, “Is it true there are 30 calories in a cigarette?” I had to write that down. I love specific detail like that with dialogue. There is an enjoyment in writitng dialogue that’s very specific.
‘You can’t get more interesting than people and nobody is ordinary at all. It just doesn’t exist; people continually amaze. I think it’s good to celebrate the mentalness in everybody.’
Jones and Peet storyboard the episodes, which are then refined and fleshed out by a team of writers.