This is the story of how a nice boy from Essex and a sweet girl from Barry fell in love and got married. Only their life isn't quite so simple - family and friends make sure of that...

Gavin spoke to Stacey everyday on the phone for months before he met her, and when he finally did, there were fireworks.

There were noisy disturbances of a different nature when their mutual sidekicks Nessa and Smithy had their first encounter, but that's another story. Ahem.

Let's meet the two tribes from Billericay and Barry!

Gavin Shipman

Pleyed by Matthew Horne

Gavin is a nice lad from Essex who likes trying new beers, Spurs and his best mate Smithy.

He works in computers and lives with his Mum and Dad.

Although not an obvious romantic in nature, he pulled out all the stops for the lovely Stacey.

Stacey West

Played by Joanna Page

Stacey is a pretty but down-to-earth girl who loves her mum, uncle and best friend Nessa.

She has been engaged a few times but this comes from her sweet naivety of love more than anything else.

She loves Gavin to bits but was worried about living in Essex after they married.


Played by James Corden

Smithy is Gavin's best friend from way back.

He's a plumber who loves his food and beer, and jealously guards Gavin's attention.

He has an on-going flirtation with Gav's mum, Pam, but his true love interest is in the unseen and nearly eighteen Lucy.

He has slept with Nessa and regretted it. And not just the once.


Played by Ruth Jones

Nessa is an incomparable woman with an extraordinary life history. She is also Stacey's best friend.

Among other jobs, Nessa works on "the slots" in Barry's premier amusement arcade and is a blunt woman full of downbeat wisdom.

She gave Smithy a night to remember but a later liaison resulted in pregnancy and some serious decisions to be made.

Pamela and Michael Shipman

Played by Alison Steadman and Larry Lamb

Pam and Mick are Gavin's parents and they enjoy a fun and 'sparky' relationship.

Gavin is the apple of Pam's eye and 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 West

Played by Rob Brydon and Melanie Walters

Bryn and Gwen are Stacey's closest family.

When Stacey's Dad died, his brother Bryn promised to look after Gwen and her daughter.

He is unemployed but has a fascination with technology - not to mention modern life in general - which he finds a constant source of remarkable wonder.

Gwen is a kind, if surprising woman, who makes awesome omelettes and wants the best for her Stacey.