The internet was driven into paroxysms of delight today by the news that British sitcom Gavin & Stacey is set to return this year for a one-off Christmas special.
James Corden and Ruth Jones’s sitcom, set in Essex and the Welsh seaside town of Barry, has been off screens since the end of the third series in 2010.
Corden, however, took to Twitter this morning in order to reveal that he and Jones have been working on a script for a Christmas special in secret, reuniting the characters almost a decade later.
The characters were left in a place of happiness, with Corden and Jones’s characters acknowledging their complex feelings for each other and the titular couple awaiting the birth of their first child together.
With the characters set for one final hurrah on the small screen, though, there are a number of loose ends fans will want to see tied up.
The Fishing Trip
The granddaddy of all of the Gavin & Stacey story threads is the mysterious controversy surrounding a ‘fishing trip’ taken by Rob Brydon’s character, Uncle Bryn, and his nephew Jason (Robert Wilfort).
Throughout the series, numerous references were made to the pair’s guilt in the aftermath of what happened, with very few characters seemingly aware of the true events. Hints were dropped that there were gravity-defying antics involved, something to do with soup and that whatever happened was legal in Wales.
Assumptions that there was a sexual dimension to what happened have been repeatedly shut down by Jones and Corden, but they’ve certainly had a good time implying it in the show.
While it would be somewhat against the spirit of Gavin & Stacey if fans were to get a definitive answer about the fishing trip, it wouldn’t be a true reunion if the mystery of the fishing trip doesn’t make another of its cryptic appearances.
Gavin and Stacey’s baby
One of the main storylines of the third series of Gavin & Stacey was the couple’s difficulty conceiving a child, which was revealed to be a result of Gavin’s low sperm count. This prompted feelings of inadequacy in the character, until the delighted couple learned that Stacey had indeed fallen pregnant.
In the final scene of the show, set six months after the other events, Stacey was visibly pregnant and so there will almost certainly be at least one juvenile Shipman running around when audiences revisit these characters.
Fans will be fascinated to see what sort of parents the couple turn out to be, and whether having kids has put any strain on their seemingly stable relationship.
Will they or won’t they?
Fractious, on-and-off relationships have been a part of sitcoms for years, whether it’s Ross and Rachel in Friends or Leonard and Penny in the more recent The Big Bang Theory. That function in Gavin & Stacey was filled by the creators themselves, as Smithy and Nessa - the best friends of the main characters.
The couple got together in a hotel room during the show’s first ever episode and found themselves drawn to each other on subsequent occasions, despite claiming mutual dislike. Nessa eventually birthed Smithy’s child, Neil, and the final episode left the couple acknowledging that their relationship was too complex for Nessa to be able to marry her partner, Dave Coach.
This relationship will no doubt be a major focus of the Christmas episode and, based on the way these characters have intermingled before, their bond could have gone anywhere in the last 10 years. They’re equally likely to be either happily married or on completely non-speaking terms.
What happened to Dave?
Despite largely rooting for Smithy, fans were left heart-broken at the end of the third series when Dave admitted he knew Nessa didn’t love him. He left the church halfway through their wedding and tenderly paused to kiss baby Neil goodbye, having served as a big part of his life up until that point.
The smart money is on Dave making an appearance in this reunion episode, but it’s unclear what will have happened between 2010 and the present day. Is he still ferrying coach passengers? Does he still have feelings for Nessa? And did his rather personal health problems ever clear up?
Dawn and Pete
Everyone knows a couple like Dawn and Pete, permanently locked in a battle of argumentative one-upmanship, but utterly devoted to each other. No matter how much the characters squabbled and yelled hateful invective, there was never any doubt that they’d be together until the bitter end.
But have the rows finally got too far? These two have tried everything, from renewing their vows to introducing a third party into their relationship, so it’s possible that a straw will finally have broken the camel’s back.
It doesn’t seem likely though.
Gary... not Simon
The first two series of Gavin & Stacey featured references to Gavin and Smithy’s friends since primary school, Gary and Simon, who were only ever referred to as a duo, like Ant and Dec. In the third series, however, the friend group visits Wales and there’s a heart-breaking reference to “Gary... not Simon” being in attendance.
It might be a stretch to suggest there will be a resolution to the story in the Christmas episode, but it would be fascinating to hear what Simon did to break the bond of a lifetime.
Read more: David Beckham reacts to Corden prank
The answer to all of these questions will either be answered, or ignored completely, when Gavin & Stacey returns on Christmas Day. So it’s time to fire up the Picasso and set the dodgy sat nav to Barry Island one more time.