Gavin & Stacey favourite who didn't appear in Christmas special set to return for finale

The cast of Gavin & Stacey sat in a pub
-Credit: (Image: Tom Jackson/BBC/PA Wire)

Sheridan Smith is reportedly set to sign a deal to star in the last-ever episode of Gavin & Stacey, insiders claim. It is believed that the story James Corden and Ruth Jones have penned for the finale includes Sheridan's character Ruth 'Rudi' Smith, who is the sister of the iconic Smithy in the beloved British sitcom.

Sources working on the BBC show say informal discussions with the actress have already taken place, despite speculation she might not return. The news will likely surprise and delight fans of the much-loved show as Sheridan's character did not appear in the 2019 Christmas special, reports The Mirror.

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An insider told the publication: "The script for Gavin and Stacey: The Finale includes all of the show's major players - including Smithy's sister Rudi. Nothing has been signed and conversations are still very much ongoing - especially as the filming date has not been set.

"But all of the stops are being pulled out to make sure the whole cast are there, and in the coming weeks the production team hope to pin down everyone's availability. Sheridan and James are still friendly - they recently bumped into each other at the Variety Club Awards and got on really well. So the hope is that she will be able to be part of it.

Sheridan Smith alongside James Corden in Gavin and Stacey
Sheridan Smith alongside James Corden in Gavin and Stacey -Credit:BBC

"She did not appear in the Christmas Special because her character was not part of that storyline, but it has been a different story this time around. Everyone is very excited about this episode - it is going to be a phenomenal last hurrah for the series, which is exactly what it deserves."

Last month, James Corden and Ruth Jones confirmed there would be a new episode of Gavin & Stacey this Christmas after months of speculation. The rumour there would be another instalment of the Barry Island-set sitcom, which last aired in 2019, was first reported back in February.

The news was announced on James' Instagram account as he and Ruth held up a script. He captioned the exciting image: "Some news… It’s official!!! We have finished writing the last ever episode of Gavin and Stacey. See you on Christmas Day, BBC One. Love Ruth and James." You can read more about the announcement here.

The initial series started on BBC Two but later got promoted to the main channel. From 2007 to 2010 it ran for three seasons. Starring Ruth and James in the roles of Nessa and Smithy, with Matt Horne as Gavin and Joanna Page as Stacey, the series centred around the lead characters navigating their bumpy relationship with their families in Billericay, Essex and Barry Island in Wales.

Sheridan was also a runaway hit with fans in her role as Smithy's gobby sister - who to his annoyance, also insisted on being called Smithy. The on-screen siblings filmed a rap duet to track American Boy which is now one of the show’s most iconic moments. And their mostly antagonistic TV relationship also delivered some unexpectedly warm moments, such as Ruth telling Smithy in one scene: “You ain’t heavy, you’re my brother.”

Representatives chose not to comment last night. You can keep up to date with the latest TV and showbiz news by signing up to the newsletter here.