South East Wales

What's occurring? Bus tours for Gavin and Stacey fans

Gavin and Stacey cast on Barry beach
A day on Barry Island beach for the cast of the show, which ran for three series

What's occuring with fans of BBC TV hit Gavin and Stacey? Eleven-hour day trips to Barry Island, that's what.

A London-based bus firm is launching sightseeing tours of the south Wales seaside resort which featured in the sitcom.

Locations include Marco's café, where Stacey works, the restaurant where Smithy learned he was the father of Nessa's child and the church hall which hosted Gwen's birthday barn dance.

Day-trippers can also try their luck at the amusement arcade managed by Nessa, played by actress and co-writer Ruth Jones, of "What's occurring?" catchphrase fame.

Devotees of the story of anglo-Welsh lovers separated by miles of motorway between Barry in the Vale of Glamorgan and Billericay in Essex can even stop at Smithy's favourite services on the M4.

It may be an 11-hour day out, but the £65 ticket includes watching back-to-back episodes on the coach journey from London's Hyde park.

The first private tours were held in February and tours open to the public begin next month, said Brit Movie Tours director Lewis Swan.

He said: "It's a way to get fans a bit closer to those places that they've seen on screen.

"People really enjoy that experience. It's just an alternative way of seeing a place.

"We're just having a bit of fun really and not taking it too seriously."

Mr Swan said he was inspired by guided tours he took while on holiday in America of film locations.

"My background is working in the media. I have love of film and history. I can appreciate the effect that film and TV has on tourism.

Doctor Who

"I thought that this is something in this country that we do not really capitalise on.

"We do some great film and television. There a lot of great places and the link between the two has not been really focused on."

The itinerary for Gavin and Stacey fans includes meeting the original Marco of Marco's café and the church were Nessa almost marries bus driver Dave "Coaches".

The firm is also running day tours of Doctor Who and Torchwood locations around Cardiff.

The Doctor Who day includes re-enacting scenes in the village featured as the home of Amy Pond in the first episode of the latest series with Matt Smith at the Doctor, as well a visiting the Doctor Who exhibition in Cardiff Bay.

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