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16 September 2020, 16:06
In our latest Virtual Coffee Break, Ruth Jones has given Gavin & Stacey fans an update on whether the sitcom may return after that Christmas cliffhanger.
Smooth's Jenni Falconer caught up with Ruth Jones for the latest Virtual Coffee Break interview, discussing her brand new book Us Three, how she has found lockdown and the future of Gavin & Stacey.
Watch the full interview above.
Speaking about the Gavin & Stacey Christmas special - which ended with Ruth's character Nessa proposing to co-writer James Corden's Smithy - she told Jenni: "James and I always wanted to do another special. And for years, people would say, 'Are you going to do any more?'.
"I kept saying no, because we hadn’t planned anything. I think maybe a few years ago, we tried, and then our different schedules meant that we couldn’t get together.
"And then when we finally managed to find a time – we basically had one long weekend, when I went out to the States, for us to see whether we could map a story out. And then I went back again for a week where we just wrote the whole episode."
She continued: "But we knew that we had to keep it completely secret, because if anybody had an inkling that we were doing it, it would get out, and probably get into the press. And if we weren’t happy with a script, we weren’t going to do it – it was going to be a disappointment to everyone, then.
"So we had to be very, very careful. We didn’t tell anybody other than our respective partners. And we managed to get it done."
On the filming process, Ruth said: "It was May, and it was all around the time when everyone was really down on Brexit. Well, we didn’t see a blooming pandemic coming, did we? Brexit is nothing! God! Anyway, everyone was really sort of down.
"So it was lovely that we had this little... it was nothing. It was a television programme. But it seemed to cheer people up.
"And watching it on Christmas – James and I watched it together with our other halves and James’s family. It was lovely. And even then, we thought, 'Oh, gosh, has it been so hyped; have we done so much press that people are going to go, ‘It wasn’t as good as the series though, was it? They shouldn’t have bothered. They should have left it where it was?'."
Pondering the show's future, Ruth said: "Can I even leave the country right now without being put into quarantine when I get back? I don’t know. And also, James has got his show, which he does every day. He’s doing a film. He’s a really busy guy. Plus, he’s a dad with three kids. So it’s finding the time to do it.
"Also, we would have the same issue, which is: what is the story going to be? Because we do not want to disappoint. So I think, for us, it’s more important – and it’s a better option – to leave it hanging, and for people wondering: what did Smithy say next? That’s a better option than us coming up with something that was substandard."
When prodded by Jenni, Ruth added: "I would say the door is not locked. It’s closed. It is closed, but it’s not locked."
Speaking about her new book Us Three - which follows three childhood friends as they grow older together - Ruth said that she doesn't write with the idea that it will be turned into a film or TV series later.
"No, you don’t, because I think in some ways maybe it’s dangerous to go down that road," she said. "It is a different vibe. So with a novel, you get to go inside people’s heads more.
"And I have to be careful that I don’t go into that different mode of writing for screen. I think there are benefits to it, in that I’m used to writing dialogue, and I feel quite easy with writing dialogue, and writing with characters, and the way that the characters speak differently, and all of that stuff. That’s all really, really helpful.
"And also, maybe scenes, and having kind of scenes in your head. That helps as well. But I don’t set out— I mean, I imagine what they look like, and I imagine them going about their lives. But I don’t think one step ahead, 'I’ll make sure I write this so that it’ll translate into a screenplay.'"
Ruth Jones's book Us Three is out now.