Gavin & Stacey stars think new Christmas special is the “best episode we’ve ever done”

Mathew Horne, Larry Lamb and Alison Steadman had their fears allayed after watching the new special

Gavin and Stacey Christmas Special 2019

After nearly a decade off air, fans of Gavin & Stacey could be forgiven for worrying about just how well the smash-hit sitcom will handle its upcoming Christmas special revival.

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But according to the cast, they needn’t worry – because despite the time away, they may have delivered the series’ stand-out episode.

“There are obviously certain formulaic elements to it, but I don’t feel like the show, the special, is a sort of Gavin and Stacey by numbers episode,” Mathew Horne, who plays Gavin in the sitcom, told RadioTimes.com.

“I think it stands alone as a really fantastic story and a really brilliant script first and foremost. I think it’s the best episode we’ve ever done. I really do.

“I mean the pace and the humour and the pathos. There’s laughter and tears and people giving rounds, and jokes – you can’t want for anymore than that.”

“Now I’ve seen it I just feel so extraordinarily overcome with emotion, frankly,” Larry Lamb, who plays Gavin’s father Mick, said.

“You turn up on the first day of rehearsal and you’re very very scared about doing the whole thing again – and now to come and watch the whole thing, all the bits that you didn’t see being shot, and just to realise this is every bit as good as you could ever dream it might be, and probably a bit better…

“I couldn’t have wished for it to have worked better.”

And Alison Steadman, who plays Lamb’s on-screen wife Pam, said that she was similarly relieved when she watched the finished episode.

“I didn’t have reservations because of the script because I knew it was brilliant,” she explained.

“We knew it was great when we recorded it. But my worry is that the whole country is building it up to this thing. But in fact, I was pleased today when I saw it because I thought ‘No, this is going to make it’.

“It’s not going to be something where people go ‘It was a bit disappointing wasn’t it?’ which often happens when you try and bring something back that’s been a huge success, so I was really quite relieved about that. No, I think it’s going to work.”

And in the end, all agreed that by sticking to what Gavin & Stacey did best, creators Ruth Jones and James Corden had managed to pull of that rarest of achievements – a TV revival that actually holds up to the original.

“They could have gone way over the top with this, they could have tried to do too much and they didn’t try to do too much at all,” Lamb added.

“It was literally like you walked in on a family that you knew 10 years ago and it goes bang and off you go again. It’s wonderful.”

“You know, I didn’t really know what to expect,” Horne continued.

“I mean the script was good and all the actors were good. But I am thrilled with it, and I hate watching myself on telly. Jo [Stacey actress Joanna Page] and I just sat back as an audience, and I think the episode flew out the blocks. It was just great.”

Sounds like we’re all in for a very Merry Christmas after all…

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Gavin & Stacey returns to BBC One on Christmas Day at 8:30pm