First look at Gavin and Stacey Christmas special as stars return to filming

It might be mid-July, but Christmas has come early for Gavin and Stacey fans as filming began for their favourite sitcom today

A large tinsel bauble, snowman lights and a ho-hoing Santa sat along the pavement of Trinity Street in the Welsh seaside town of Barry.

Fans lined up along the pavement as the famous house being decorated for the festive special.

They also managed to get a glimpse of actress Joanna Page, 42, heading on set.

The star, who plays Stacey, was joined by her on-screen mum Gwen, played by Melanie Walters, and Uncle Bryn, played by Rob Brydon.

The trio looked pleased to be back filming, with Joanna flashing fans a big grin as she wore a stripy blue t-shirt and jeans.

James Corden, who created the BBC sitcom alongside Ruth Jones, confirmed the show’s much-anticipated return in May.

In a statement, Jones and Corden said: “Over the last 10 years we’ve talked a lot about Gavin and Stacey – where they might be today and what their lives might look like.

“And so in secret we took the plunge and wrote this one-hour special.

“We’ve loved revisiting Barry and Essex again and bringing the characters back together has been a joy.

We’re so excited to get the chance to work with our fabulous cast and crew once more and to give fans of the show a festive treat this Christmas. Thank you BBC for helping to make this happen.”

Corden also confirmed the news on Twitter today and admitted that he had been keeping the secret a while.

He wrote: “Ruth Jones and I have been keeping this secret for a while… We’re excited to share it with you. See you on Christmas Day ⁦@BBCOne⁩ #GavinandStacey.”

He also attached a picture of the highly anticipated script, which simply read: “Gavin & Stacey: Christmas Special 2019.”

Actor Rob Brydon, who stars in the show, tweeted in reply: “SURPRISE!!! SURPRISE!!SURPRISE!!! SURPRISE!!! SURPRISE!!! SURPRISE!!! SURPRISE!!!!!!!!”

Fans were similarly ecstatic over the news and flocked to Twitter to comment in excitement.

One wrote: “OHMYGOD.”

While another commented: “Really?? If it is that’s brilliant news.. we need a laff!!”

A third remarked: “@xemmamarshall omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg OMG omg omg omg omg OMG OMG omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg.”

The British sitcom aired from 2007 to 2010 and followed the lives of Gavin Shipman, from Essex, and Stacey Shipman (nee West) from Wales.

The show focused on the couple’s relationship and various situations that brought their families together.

It also starred Larry Lamb, Rob Brydon, Alison Steadman and Melanie Walters.

The 2010 New Year’s Day finale was watched by more than 10.2 million viewers.

Charlotte Moore, director of BBC content, said: “Everyone at the BBC is hugely excited to be welcoming back Gavin and Stacey to BBC One this Christmas.

We can’t wait to see what’s happened to everyone over the last nine years and what’s next for one of the nation’s favourite comedy families.”

Sheridan Smith, who played Ruth ‘Rudi’ Smith, has confirmed she won’t be returning for the one-off.

The sitcom was a breakthrough hit for BBC Three and eventually moved to BBC One.

Corden went on to find fame in the US as host of The Late Late Show, best known for its Carpool Karaoke segment.