Ruth Jones on the end of Stella: “I shed a few tears but it’s a cracker of a finale”

Jones says it’s been an emotional goodbye for her comedy drama – but “it’s time to let Pontyberry get on with life in private”

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What’s your TV set-up at home?

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A big comfy sofa with a massive screen and too many remote controls. And easy access to the kettle. I’m a bit of a box-set binger – I watched The West Wing pretty much in one go and then got hooked on House of Cards.

Which comedies make you laugh?

I really love The Windsors – and I hope the royal family love it, too. I feel that they would somehow. I also love Quacks; Mathew Baynton is a joy. Upstart Crow is very clever, too, and Fleabag is genius.

Which TV shows influenced you?

I adored The Young Ones, then I grew into French and Saunders and Victoria Wood. I loved character actresses like Julie Walters and Alison Steadman, films like Nuts in May and Educating Rita. And I never get tired of watching Larry David and Curb Your Enthusiasm.

Why did you decide to bring your comedy drama Stella to an end?

It’s been a fantastic journey, but it’s time to let Pontyberry get on with life in private. There’s a part of me that’s very sad it’s finishing – it’s seven years now since we started working on it [Jones stars, writes, and created the show with David Peet, her husband] and as someone pointed out to me, “That’s basically the whole of comprehensive school!” The last day of filming in Stella’s street I did shed a few tears. But it’s a cracker of a finale.

You must be bored of people asking you this – but any plans to return to Gavin & Stacey?

There is definitely NOT going to be any more. It’s a massive compliment that people still want more but it’s out of the question. I loved Nessa. She was fabulous but she’s asked me to pass on this message to your readers: “O! Radio Times! There’s no more Gavin & Stacey occurrin’, alrigh’? I’m up to my eyes down the slots and Neil the Baby’s about to start Barry Juniors so I got enough on my plate, if truth be told. Now back off!”

And I guess your G&S co-writer and co-star James Corden is pretty busy these days…

He’s gone stratospheric! But I’m not surprised: he was always going to be a massive success. And he deserves every drop of it, he works incredibly hard and he’s hugely talented, so it makes total sense.

No plans to live in LA yourself?

Good God, no.

Are there any other of your TV characters you miss?

I recently caught up with Julia Davis and it was so nice to spend time with her… She’s exactly the same as when we met at 25. I hope we get to work together again. Perhaps Jill and Linda could have a Nighty Night reunion in later life.

What are your plans now?

I’ve finished writing my first novel. It’s a relationship story called Never Greener and it’s out in April.

Tell us something about yourself that would surprise people.

I ADORE all the Planet of the Apes films. The kind female ape always reminded me of Miss Ellie in Dallas… maybe it actually was her?

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Stella concludes on Wednesday 18th October at 9pm on Sky1