Gavin and Stacey: The show that made Barry famous turns 10

By Nicola Bryan
BBC News

media captionGavin and Stacey show celebrates their 10th birthday

Gavin and Stacey, the programme that introduced Barry to the masses and made stars of its cast, is turning 10.

The cast have been reflecting on a decade of fans shouting the show's best known one-liners at them in the street.

And the town plans to celebrate in a way any self-respecting seaside town would: with fish and chips.

Fish and chip shop O'Shea's is offering free meals to real-life Gavin and Staceys or "couples who span the Barry and London area divide".

media captionThe cast of Gavin and Stacey on the beach at Barry Island

The show's co-creator Ruth Jones, AKA Nessa Jenkins, said despite the passing of time since the first episode was broadcast on 13 May 2007, the show still makes her laugh.

She said "what's occurrin'?" had become a familiar heckle.

"It's a compliment," she said.

"Especially now when so much time has passed."

image copyrightBBC/Baby Cow
image captionMelanie Walters played Gwen West

And Jones is not the only cast member who has learned to enjoy being heckled in the street.

Melanie Walters, who played Stacey's mother, Gwen West, who was forever cooking omelettes in the kitchen, said: "Still to this day people come up and ask me to make an omelette.

"It wasn't written as a sound bite or anything but it just stuck.

"That was the audience's imagination that picked up on that more than anything."

image copyrightBBC/Baby Cow
image copyrightBBC/BABY COW

Steffan Rhodri, AKA Dave Coaches, said: "'Where's your bus?' is the usual one [I get], or 'where's your coach?"

He said he knew the show was going to be a big hit after an encounter at Chapter Arts Centre in Cardiff.

"A guy I know came up to me and said 'I saw that thing you were in, Gavin and Stacey', and he just quoted at me - and I thought, gosh, people are now quoting lines at me."

Andy Green, who runs the not-for-profit social enterprise Barry Ideas Bank, wants to mark the show's anniversary with a year-long celebration.

image copyrightBBC/BABY COW

He said: "It's not just a TV show that happened to be filmed in Barry. Barry was crucial to the show's success.

"It imbued itself with the character of Barry and Barry in turn has taken it to its heart."

And he wants the Vale of Glamorgan town to cash in on the occasion.

"When Gavin and Stacey first appeared 10 years ago, Barry was very slow to exploit the opportunity and make the most of it," he said.

"It took a few years for the merchandise and tours to happen, now we need to seize the opportunity."

image copyrightBBC/BABY COW

But Jones rejects the idea that her show "put Barry on the map".

"I find it an odd expression. Barry was always on the map," she said.

"I'm old enough to remember Butlins at Barry and going there with my gran."

She still likes to pay the place a visit from time to time.

"I sometimes pop in to Marco's cafe for a coffee," she said.

"He does a 'cracking' coffee I have to say! And the seafront and the Knap are gorgeous. It's a great town. I love it."

image captionThe first Gavin and Stacey episode was broadcast on 13 May 2007

More on this story