IT'S NOT AS SIMPLE AS BOY MEETS GIRL IN MULTI-AWARD WINNING, UK HIT COMEDY, GAVIN & STACEY
-U.S. Premiere on BBC AMERICA-
Telling an endearing and intricate story of true love and human relationships, double BAFTA award-winning comedy Gavin & Stacey premieres on BBC AMERICA this Summer. Written by, and starring, Ruth Jones and James Corden, the beautifully observed series follows the trials and tribulations of two young lovers, as they embark on a whirlwind romance that brings their nations, and unusual families, crashing together. Gavin & Stacey premieres Tuesday, August 26, 8:40 p.m. ET/PT
Gavin is an ordinary boy from England, Stacey is an ordinary girl from Wales. The two are obsessed with each other, yet they've only ever spoken on the phone. They decide to make the journey to meet, but the peculiar personalities of their families and friends make it a rocky road to happiness. Their loved ones must learn to get along as their worlds collide and the relationship gets serious. Fortunately, their best friends - Nessa and Smithy - get along "exceptionally" well - they just have to be wasted first.
With engagingly quirky characters and no laugh track, the refreshing and accessible story captures the essence of modern romance. As well as Jones (Nighty Night), as Nessa, and Corden (The History Boys), as Smithy, the UK original stars Joanna Page (Love Actually) as Stacey, Mathew Horne (The Catherine Tate Show) as Gavin, Alison Steadman (Life is Sweet) as Pamela and Rob Brydon (Little Britain) as Uncle Bryn.
Gavin & Stacey, produced by Steve Coogan's (Alan Partridge, Saxondale) production company, Baby Cow, won 'Best Comedy Performance' (James Corden) and the 'Sky+ Audience Award for Programme of the Year' at this year's BAFTAs. It also picked up three British Comedy awards in 2007 for 'Best New British Television Comedy (Scripted)', 'Best Male Comedy Newcomer' (James Corden) and 'Best Female Comedy Newcomer' (Ruth Jones).
Like another BBC AMERICA original The Office, Gavin & Stacey is set to be formatted by NBC.
UK seasons one and two will air together as one season of 13 episodes on BBC AMERICA
BBC AMERICA brings audiences a new generation of award-winning television featuring news with a uniquely global perspective, provocative dramas, razor-sharp comedies and life-changing makeovers. BBC AMERICA pushes the boundaries to deliver high quality, highly addictive and eminently watchable programming to viewers who demand more. BBC AMERICA is distributed by Discovery Networks. It is available on digital cable and satellite TV in more than 60 million homes. For up-to-the-minute information on BBC AMERICA, forthcoming U.S. premieres, art work and news from the channel, log on to www.press.bbcamerica.com.
WHAT THE BRITISH PRESS SAID
"The story � is full of youth and optimism, making it a joyous celebration of how romance can bridge nations." The Times
"Do catch Gavin & Stacey, the beautifully observed TV comedy about opposites falling in love � It's a gem." Daily Mail
"Thanks to its cast (including Rob Brydon and Alison Steadman), the uncovering of another bunch of British eccentrics is not clich� but pure pleasure." The Sunday Times
CAST AND PRODUCTION CREDITS
Gavin - Mathew Horne
Stacey - Joanna Page
Nessa - Ruth Jones
Smithy - James Corden
Bryn - Rob Brydon
Pamela - Alison Steadman
Mick - Larry Lamb
Gwen - Melanie Walters
Guest Appearances by Julia Davis (Nighty Night, Persuasion), Marc Wootton (High Spirits with Shirley Ghostman) and Matt Lucas (Little Britain)
Writers - Ruth Jones and James Corden
Director - Christine Gernon
Producer - Ted Dowd
Executive Producers - Henry Normal and Lindsay Hughes
A Baby Cow production for BBC
Gavin is a nice guy from England (Essex) who likes beer, soccer and his best mate, Smithy. He works with computers and lives with his Mom and Dad. Although not an obvious romantic, he would do anything for the lovely Stacey.
Stacey is a pretty but down-to-earth girl, who loves her Mom, Uncle and best friend, Nessa. She lives in Barry, Wales and adores Gavin.
Nessa is Stacey's best friend and an incomparable woman with an extraordinary life history. Among other jobs, Nessa works on "the slots" in one of Wales' leading arcades. She is blunt and full of downbeat wisdom.
Smithy has been Gavin's best friend for years. He loves food and beer, and jealously guards Gavin's attention.
Pamela and Mick are Gavin's parents and they enjoy a fun and sparky relationship. Gavin is the apple of Pam's eye and she always has a cooked breakfast ready for any visitors to her immaculate house. Mick loves golf and is very proud of his well-adjusted son.
Bryn and Gwen are Stacey's closest family. When Stacey's Dad died, his brother Bryn promised to look after Gwen and her daughter. Bryn is unemployed but has a fascination with technology - not to mention modern life in general - which he finds a constant source of wonder. Gwen is a kind, if surprising woman, who makes awesome omelet's and wants the best for Stacey.
After only ever communicating by phone, Gavin and Stacey finally arrange to meet. Stacey's guardian, Uncle Bryn, is concerned, as ever, for his niece's well-being and provides her with a rape alarm for her visit to London. Gavin's mum, Pamela, is very excited for her "little prince", while his best mate, Smithy, is skeptical and more concerned about what Stacey's friend, Nessa, will look like. Nessa, meanwhile, couldn't care either way. The four meet up, and after lots of alcohol, romance blossoms in the most unexpected places.
Episode 1 premieres Tuesday, August 26, 8:40p.m. ET/PT
Gavin and Stacey are happy and in love, until a misunderstanding on the phone at work leaves Stacey heartbroken and Gavin in a state. Gavin decides there is only one way to solve the problem and drives 200 miles to Wales to talk to Stacey in person. Having made up, they can't bear to be parted so soon and Stacey agrees to go back to England with Gavin. Proud mum Pamela is beside herself with excitement and starts cleaning the house from top to bottom. When Stacey's trip finally comes to an end � which included a pub quiz run by a very drunk Smithy � Gavin finds himself surrounded by armed police just as he's trying to pop the question�
Episode 2 premieres Tuesday, September 2, 8:40p.m. ET/PT
Gavin and Stacey prepare to tell their friends and family about their surprise engagement. Pamela and Mick are delighted for their "little prince", but Stacey's family has huge concerns about the announcement, and Smithy refuses to talk to Gavin. But, when Gavin's parents invite Stacey's family to England for an engagement party, nothing will get in the way of the celebrations, or Bryn's temptation to use his GPS for the long journey. The two families get on exceptionally well, until conversation turns to money, and Gavin and Stacey drop a bombshell on their unsuspecting friends and family.
Episode 3 premieres Tuesday, September 9, 8:40p.m. ET/PT
With just six weeks to go until the wedding, nerves and excitement are beginning to show. Gavin has a very important question for Smithy, while Nessa has uncharacteristic doubts about herself. Gavin's family and friends travel to Wales for a wedding fair and the event exceeds all expectations. Smithy is completely mesmerized by Jammy the ultimate bachelor party organizer (Matt Lucas, Little Britain), and Bryn wants to hire a magician for the wedding.
Episode 4 premieres Tuesday, September 16, 8:40p.m. ET/PT
It's Gavin and Stacey's respective bachelor and bachelorette parties. Stacey is delighted when her brother Jason returns home - but it's not a feeling shared by Uncle Bryn. Meanwhile, both Nessa and Stacey are hiding something. Will Gavin ever discover Stacey's secret past? And, if so, will he still want to marry her?
Episode 5 premieres Tuesday, September 23, 8:40p.m. ET/PT
The day of Gavin and Stacey's wedding has finally arrived, and their families are beside themselves with excitement and pride. Smithy attempts to deliver the definitive Best Man's speech, but it doesn't go quite to plan. Uncle Bryn is still acting strangely around Stacey's brother Jason, and Nessa isn't herself - will she spill the beans on her big secret? More importantly, will the wedding actually take place?
Episode 6 premieres Tuesday, September 30, 8:40p.m. ET/PT
Three weeks after their wedding, Gavin and Stacey return from honeymoon and travel to Gavin's family home in England, where they will be living until they get their own place. Gwen and Bryn travel to Gavin's hometown to see the newly-weds, with Nessa following close behind in a seven-ton truck full of Stacey's belongings. Smithy arrives, clearly upset that Gavin didn't call him during his honeymoon (or "vacation" as Smithy prefers to call it). The families decide to celebrate by going to Gavin's local Italian restaurant where they discover Mick and Pamela's friends, Dawn and Pete, having a meal with a Ghanaian man they hope to introduce to their "bedroom". The evening goes well until Stacey discovers that Nessa hasn't told Smithy he is the father of her unborn child. Gradually, more and more diners find out about the pregnancy until, eventually, Nessa tells the last person to know � Smithy.
Episode 7 premieres Tuesday, October 7, 8:40p.m. ET/PT
Reeling from Nessa's revelation and unable to handle the news, Smithy flees the restaurant. While Gavin, Mick and Bryn try to find him, Stacey is upset to find out that her mom has redecorated her old bedroom, and it finally sinks in that her home is now at Pamela and Mick's. After calling on Smithy's sister (who works in a fast-food drive-thru), the lads manage to track down a pensive Smithy at the golf driving range and convince him to come back and stand by Nessa. She, however, is reluctant to have Smithy involved with her child, but eventually agrees that he can come with her for a scan. Stacey gets upset again when she finds out that all her possessions have been brought to England in the back of Nessa's truck. When her family leaves to head home, she feels she should be with them and her pregnant best friend in Wales.
Episode 8 premieres Tuesday, October 14, 8:40p.m. ET/PT
Stacey is upset because she can't get a job. Smithy needs Gavin's shoulder to cry on because his girlfriend broke up with him over Nessa's pregnancy and told him she was seeing a younger man anyway. Gavin, Stacey and Smithy head for Wales so that Smithy can go with Nessa for her scan. Smithy lodges with Bryn, who has turned his spare room into a gym and sets about getting Smithy into shape. Gavin and Stacey accompany Nessa and Smithy to the hospital. Seeing the image of their child for the very first time really drives home the reality of the situation for the young parents-to-be.
Episode 9 premieres Tuesday, October 21, 8:40p.m. ET/PT
Everyone is very excited that Mick is going to be interviewed on television after discovering a body near his workplace. But, when the families all sit down to watch, there is massive disappointment � Mick's interview has been cut down to just a few seconds. Stacey is miserable and homesick because she still hasn't got a job, or her own home. She feels she's getting under everyone's feet, especially when Pamela interrupts during her shower. Gavin tries to console her, but she says he just doesn't understand. Pamela admits to Dawn that having the newlyweds staying in her house is getting a bit much. (Dawn and Pete are still looking for a threesome.) Gavin and Stacey go to view a potential apartment and are shown around a tiny, dirty studio by over-enthusiastic realtor Duncan (Marc Wootton). Nessa travels to England and joins Smithy, Gavin and Stacey for a night of tenpin bowling. Gavin and Stacey spend the night arguing and Nessa and Smithy end the night, once again, in the throes of passion.
Episode 10 premieres Tuesday, October 28, 8:40p.m. ET/PT
There will be a break for Election week
Stacey and Gavin are still in conflict over where they should live, with Gavin refusing to consider the idea of living in Wales. Smithy admits to Gavin that he had another fling with Nessa and realizes that he will need to face her again at the surprise party Bryn is throwing for Gwen. Bryn is panicking because he wants to keep the party a surprise, but he's also having trouble getting enough people to attend. Stacey thinks she's going down early with Gavin to help Bryn, but finds out that Gavin intends to travel later with Smithy. They argue again and Stacey heads to Wales, alone, by train. The surprise party is a great success to the relief of Bryn, but Smithy's meeting with Nessa is awkward as she is sitting with her old flame Dave, the coach driver. Gavin and Stacey argue again, but this time it's serious - she's not going back to England with him.
Episode 11 premieres Tuesday, November 11, 8:40p.m. ET/PT
After falling out at Gwen's surprise party, Gavin and Stacey are still living apart in their respective home towns. Pamela is annoyed about plans for a new phone mast to be erected near their house and is planning a demonstration at the site. Pamela is also concerned about Gavin and gets Mick to phone Gwen to find out how Stacey is doing. Nessa is earning some money on the side by performing as a living statue on the street. Gavin seeks counseling for his marriage troubles from Smithy, but Smithy's idea of relationship therapy is to organize a surprise guy's night out at a nightclub foam party. While the guys are knee deep in foam, Stacey is with her family at a bingo night. Neither she, nor Gavin, are enjoying their evening out and keep checking their phones to see if the other one has called. Eventually, Gavin can't carry on without calling Stacey. They speak - and make up again.
Episode 12 premieres Tuesday, November 18, 8:40p.m. ET/PT
Stacey travels to England and back into the arms of Gavin. Everything is perfect until Pamela and Mick offer to cover the deposit on a house for the young couple. Stacey tells Gavin that it can't work between them because they both need to live in their own towns. If they were truly meant to be together, this wouldn't matter, they wouldn't even think about it - but that clearly isn't the case. She gives him her wedding ring back. Back in Wales, Nessa is going into labor - with Bryn and Gwen at hand. Pamela tells Gavin and Stacey and the hunt to find Smithy begins. Eventually they find him in a pub watching soccer and Gavin and Smithy head for Wales. It looks like Smithy may miss the birth as they don't have the right money for the toll bridge. After failing to convince the toll booth attendant to let them pass, they lift the barrier, but are stopped by the police. Eventually they get back on their way and arrive at the hospital to see Nessa with the newborn in her arms. All family members come into the room to see the baby, and Gavin and Stacey fall into each other's arms. Stacey is wearing her wedding ring again.
Episode 13 premieres Tuesday, November 25, 8:40p.m. ET/PT
Writers - Ruth Jones and James Corden
"Writing Gavin & Stacey is such a dream come true," says Corden. "You always hope that when you get to have your first comedy show go in front of the cameras that it'll live up to your expectations, and it definitely did. I've never felt such a feeling of unity on a set as I did on Gavin & Stacey; there was such trust between the crew and the actors. We've got an unbelievable cast and a great director and director of photography. With people like that on board, you're halfway there already really."
In the space of three months, five episodes of Gavin & Stacey had been written � the first episode taking them just 24 hours. "We wrote episode six in New York while I was doing The History Boys on Broadway," Corden says. "Ruth came out to join me. It was weird sitting in a lovely apartment in New York trying to write a show about a regular guy from Essex and a regular girl from Barry! Sometimes we'd do some writing in Central Park which was great."
"It's not a 'sitcom' as such really", says Jones. "The problem is I don't know what to call it! It's very moving as well � as you watch the characters more and more, you sympathise with them, and by the end of the series, there's a lot of heart-wrenching in there. It's very moving! So therefore I don't know what the right genre to label Gavin & Stacey with is! People who've seen it have been really generous and positive about it � it's just that it's hard to say exactly what the show actually is!"
Corden reveals where he first got the idea for Gavin & Stacey. "Ruth and I first met on Fat Friends. One day in between filming I had this idea � all of my real-life girlfriend's family are from Barry Island, and we went to this wedding. It was one of those weddings where you don't know many people, so we just sat in the corner and watched the whole event go by. I sort of thought, 'I don't think anyone's ever shown a real wedding on TV, one that's like the ones I've been to.' So that's where the idea came from. I spoke to Ruth, and we both talked about it and thought that it sounded like it could be a good idea for a comedy. In fact, a friend of mine called Gavin met his now wife after speaking to her on the phone at work! They got married last year � and that was another seed of an idea that got meshed into the wedding thing."
"All the best stories are the simplest ones," explains Corden. "Ultimately this is just a love story, with two people who love each other deciding they want to spend the rest of their lives together. There's so much drama in the world anyway, so you don't really need to add extra drama to comedies in order to make them work � just look at The Royle Family and, to some extent, The Office. As soon as you start changing the reality of how people actually are in order to get the gags, that's when things start to feel false, like those sitcoms we've all seen."
The locations were important too. "We chose Barry Island and Essex specifically because they're both areas just outside the big cities of Cardiff and London, but areas that have definitely got their own strong identities and their own language too," he says. "It's like a bit of a TV mafia down in Wales now, actually � so many people are filming there. Our trucks would turn up in Cardiff just as Doctor Who's trucks pulled away, with Torchwood's due in the day after!
"Nessa is Stacey's best friend," says Jones. "She has a very chequered past; has travelled the world three times; has worked in all kinds of places, including Harrods; and has had sex with most of the men in Barry, and probably most of the women, too! Nessa is very stoical and a really good friend, actually, in a strange sort of way."
"I think Smithy would love Gavin to have a girlfriend, but not to have a wife," explains Corden. "In Smithy's head, they will move into a flat, be bachelors for about the next five years, get married at the same time, live next door to each other, have a couple of kids, take them to football, but still have a drink together. According to Smithy, that's how it should work, and that's the way you should do things. But, really, it's mates first and birds second. And, when Gavin says he's getting married, and as much as Smithy's pissed off, he knows it's right."
Gavin & Stacey also reunites James and Ruth with their Fat Friends co-star, Alison Steadman. "We set out to write a great part for Alison, because we both knew her and both look up to her and idolize her as an actor," says Corden. "Alison's never anything but brilliant and we wanted her to play the role of Pam more than anyone."
"When she rang us and said she'd just read the script and loved it, we were over the moon!" says Ruth.
"Once we'd started writing the part of Bryn, we thought Rob Brydon would be great. The minute he read the first two episodes, he rang Ruth and said: 'I really, really want to do it. I know exactly who he is; I know exactly what he wears; how he walks; how he speaks.'"
Mathew Horne as Gavin
"Making Gavin & Stacey is probably the best shoot I've ever been on, by a long way. Not just because of the people who were involved, but also because of the material we were given to work with. And the relationship that I built up with James fell into place straight away. As soon as we got to start filming, we became best mates. In fact, we started writing together and we've just had a pilot episode commissioned!
The calibre of actors in this show is like nothing I've ever worked on before. I mean, Alison Steadman is my mum, for God's sake! In terms of the 'core four' � me, James, Jo and Ruth � we were really tight right from the beginning. I think there's some really good chemistry between me and Jo that came through in the casting. I'm really really proud of it, and I don't want to say too much in case it jinxes things, but I've got a really good feeling about Gavin & Stacey�"
Joanna Page as Stacey
"The language is so natural, the characters are just like ones I've seen in my own family, so when you've got a script like that it can't help but feel more realistic than other shows. When I saw the scripts, I said to myself, 'Oh, I have to get this, because she's me!' If the program had been made with someone else playing Stacey, I'd have been gutted! Honestly, she honestly is really like me. I've been watching some of the episodes back, and the language and everything they've given Stacey to do � it's been a bit uncanny really! It's going to be very strange for my family to sit down and watch it!"