'Gavin and Stacey' stars James Corden and Ruth Jones' thank you gift to Barry Island residents

(third left to right) Joanna Page, James Corden and Ruth Jones during filming for the Gavin and Stacey Christmas special at Barry in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales.
Joanna Page, James Corden and Ruth Jones during filming for the Gavin and Stacey Christmas special in Wales (Credit: Getty Images)

Gavin and Stacey fans who flocked to Barry Island to try and catch a glimpse of filming for the Christmas Special were treated to free ice creams.

James Corden and Ruth Jones sent a Mr Whippy van to Trinity Street in South Wales where Stacey’s family live in the sitcom to hand out 99ers to the crowds that had gathered.

A handwritten note stuck to the side of the van said: "Thank you for all of your support, it means the world to us. See you on Christmas Day! Enjoy! James Corden + Ruth Jones ."

Read more: Joanna Page: 'New 'Gavin and Stacey' script made me cry'

Shortly after the arrival of the ice cream van a barrier was used the move the crowds back and vans and screens were put up to block the view of filming at the request of the cast in a bid to keep the plot of the reunion episode secret.

Filming on the street scenes began on Friday, when Matthew Horne and Joanna Page, who plays couple Gavin and Stacey were spotted playing out an emotional scene.

Rob Brydon, who plays Uncle Bryn, Melanie Walters, who plays Stacey’s mum Gwen and Alison Steadman, who plays Gavin’s mum were also spotted on location.

On Saturday Ruth Jones, who plays Nessa, and James Corden, who plays Smithy, joined the other cast on set.

Read more: 'Gavin & Stacey': Loose ends the new episode needs to tie up

They were given a surprise of their own when Ewan Kennedy, who played Nessa’s baby son Neil in the show back in 2010, returned to the set so his former co-stars could see him all grown up.

Announcing plans to bring back the hit sitcom for a one-off Christmas Special, almost 10 years after it ended, creators Corden and Jone said: who said: "Over the last 10 years we've talked a lot about Gavin & Stacey - where they might be today and what their lives might look like.

"And so in secret we took the plunge and wrote this one hour special. We've loved revisiting Barry and Essex again and bringing the characters back together has been a joy.

"We're so excited to get the chance to work with our fabulous cast and crew once more and to give fans of the show a festive treat this Christmas.”

Page, 42, has said: “The script is brilliant. It’s really good. It made me cry, it made me laugh and it made me think, ‘I just want to spend Christmas with this family’.

“I think fans will love it. It’s quite nostalgic, but it also feels quite modern and funny.”