It’s fair to say that the 2019 Gavin and Stacey Christmas special ends with a bit of a bang – and one year on, we’re still waiting for answers to follow up that cliffhanger.
Last year’s Christmas special is getting a primetime repeat on BBC One this Christmas Eve at 8:40pm, but the finale to the eagerly anticipated revival is no less shocking than it was in 2019.
In the episode’s final scene, Nessa (Ruth Jones) shockingly proposes to James Corden’s Smithy, taking their on-again off-again relationship to a new level after an episode where Smithy had looked ready to tie the knot with his critical new girlfriend (Laura Aikman).
“You know you’re alright as you are, don’t you Smithy?” Nessa says at the conclusion of the episode.
“I won’t lie, you’re not everyone’s cup of tea, but at the end of the day when all’s said and done, you’re tidy.
“And I know it’s been complicated, you and me. All this like. But I loves it. And if truth be told… I loves you.”
Smithy, thinking she’s speaking platonically, replies that he feels the same, only for Nessa to cut him off.
“No Smithy, you’re not listening. I knows it’s weird, alright? But I do. I loves you. With all my heart.”
“So,” she says, producing a ring – “will you marry me?”
The episode cuts to the credits at this point, leaving her question unanswered and a whole nation of viewers in the dark as to Smithy’s reply.
Compared to the finale to the original series (which aired on New Year’s Day 2010 and wrapped up most of the plot threads), this final scene seems to leave things much more open for a return to the story and characters down the line – and according to Jones and the other cast, there’s definitely a hope that more Gavin & Stacey will be coming to see what happens next.
“Well obviously the scene between Smithy and Nessa is an interesting one, and as you see now it’s not necessarily over, because it’s ended on a proposal,” Jones said at a 2019 screening for the Christmas special.
“When James and I did that last scene, that proposal scene, it was in the middle of the night, we were really scared that some pap was going to get a picture, because obviously if I’m down on one knee it’s obvious what’s going on…”
However, Jones reiterated that there were no concrete plans for another special or even a full series at this early stage, even with the cliffhanger included.
“Honestly, hand on heart – at the moment, there is no plan,” she said. “There have been no post-it notes, there has been no sitting in a room mapping out another episode.
“But I think obviously there is room for it to move on, so all I’m going to say now is who knows?”
Other cast members, meanwhile, felt more certain that the ending meant more episodes were imminent, with many saying they’re already keen to come back and resolve the story.
“Well I hope there will be more,” Joanna Page, who plays Stacey in the series, told RadioTimes.com. “I can’t say because I don’t write it. But I’d be happy to do more.”
“I mean yeah obviously I’d love to do it,” Mathew Horne, who plays Gavin, agreed. “There’s a reason they wrote that ending.
“So, I’m sure there will be more – but I don’t know.”
“Oh God, yes of course,” Robert Wilfort, who plays Jason in the series, told us. “I don’t think they would have written that ending without possibly thinking about it.”
“I don’t think there’s loads more in it. I think there is maybe something else in it,” added Melanie Waters, who plays Gwen.
“Like we said we are wary about it, you know it finished on a high and you don’t want to do something too much, you know you want to keep it special,” agreed Wilfort.
While there has been no official announcement of a follow-up series or special, there have been good signs a comeback is on the way eventually – the BBC recently teased that the sitcom would return “one day”, and James Corden recently told Metro.co.uk that he was hopeful for another episode. However, Corden also said that the next instalment really would be the last one (gasp!).
“I hope so much we do it,” he said. “The next one will really be the last, final part.”
There’ll be a bit of a wait, however, with Corden adding: “[It]is a little too much pressure for my chest to take at the moment, if I’m honest, in amongst the anxiety of 2020.
“If I had any notion of trying to make another Christmas special, I don’t think I’d be able to breathe. So we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it. But I promise you, we won’t lead you over that bridge unless we think it will be worth the journey.”
For now, Jones and Corden are hoping fans just enjoy the Christmas gift they’ve been given – and even if it doesn’t lead anywhere, Jones says she’ll always treasure the memory of that crucial final scene anyway.
“When I put my hand on my heart as Nessa, and I said to Smithy, ‘I love you, No, I do, I love you, I loves you with all my heart’ – when I said it, I really meant it to James,” she said.
“Because the journey that we’ve been on – and we can argue, don’t get me wrong, we have a very brother/sisterly relationship – but our friendship at the heart of it is so strong.
“I’m so proud of our friendship and I’m proud of the journey we’ve been on together,” she concluded, visibly emotional.
Hopefully, it’s a journey that’s not quite over yet…