1 Fans of the show include Tom Jones and Tory leader David Cameron. Cameron confessed to using the show’s catchphrases, such as Nessa’s ‘What’s Occurring?’ and ‘Tidy’. He said, ‘I’ve been to Barry (where the show is set) three times and want to go back. From now on, whenever we have an election success in Wales, I’m going to congratulate my Welsh MPs on a ‘tidy’ result.’
2 James Corden met Ruth Jones – Nessa and his co-writer on Gavin & Stacey – when they both starred in Fat Friends, an ITV drama about the members of a slimming group. James told her about a wedding he had just been to where the bride was Welsh and the groom English.
He says, ‘The wedding was on Barry Island, and Ruth’s from Cardiff and knows the area quite well. I told her I didn’t think anybody had shown a wedding on TV like the one I had been to.’
3 Corden based his own character, Smithy, on a friend of his cousin. Others are based on people the co-writers met in the hotel bar during the filming of Fat Friends.
Jones says, ‘We used to sit in the bar and look around. There was always a function going on, and we’d pick out characters that might be at Gavin and Stacey’s wedding and improvise what they might say. We had an idea that there would be this best friend who, at every wedding she goes to, ends up getting really drunk and singing Wild Thing.’
4 The writers hoped to make Gavin & Stacey a one-off TV film. Jones says, ‘When the BBC got our proposal they said, “We don’t have a slot for a one-hour special. Why don’t you chart their relationship and go back to when they met and culminate the end of the series in their wedding?”‘
The re-written proposal for the first series was so good that when the BBC commissioning editor was reading it on the train, she completely missed her stop.
5 When Mathew Horne was chosen to play Essex-boy Gavin, Corden sent him a text saying, ‘So chuffed you’re doing it’, and Horne rang back instantly. Their first phone call lasted 80 minutes, and they have been best friends ever since.
Horne says about Corden, ‘He’s a brilliant mate. We were both in Teachers, but not at the same time. He jokes that the series he was in was Bafta-nominated, and the series I was in killed the show – it was axed following the episodes I appeared in.’
6 The leading characters are named after serial killers. Gavin’s surname is Shipman, after the GP who murdered hundreds of his patients, while Stacey’s name is West, after Fred and Rose. Another character, who has appeared in five episodes as a friend of the Shipman family, is Pete Sutcliffe – named after the Yorkshire Ripper.
7 Rob Brydon, who plays Stacey’s Uncle Bryn, is well known for livening up the set with hilarious impressions. Joanna Page, who plays Stacey, says, ‘While we were filming series two, he would do impressions of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone. It was like having my own personal comedian on set.’
8 Corden is a dangerous man to invite on stage. Presenting a theatre award to Harry Potter’s Daniel Radcliffe last year, he grabbed the stunned actor and subjected him to a long, intense kiss. On another occasion, while accepting an award on behalf of Keira Knightley, he joked she was absent because they had been ‘s****ing for three days’.
9 The larger-than-life character of Nessa has a cult following. A fansite on Facebook called ‘Oh, What’s Occurring?’ has 30,000 members – while the real-life arcade in Barry where Nessa works has been bombarded with so many visitors that bosses have put up a sign saying ‘Nessa is not working today’.
10 Tourists flock to the three-bedroom house overlooking Barry Docks that is used as Stacey’s mum’s house in the series. Owner Glenda Kenyon, 54, moves out to a local hotel for nine days at a time during filming. Glenda says, ‘Last year alone, 57 people knocked on the door. They all started arriving three days after the Christmas special was on.’”
SOURCE: The Daily Mail; “Gavin & Stacey: Ten things you didn’t know about the popular comedy;” Cable, Amanda; 25 Nov 2009