Ruth Jones and Rob Brydon reuniting for new BBC comedy

ExclusiveWednesday 9th June 2021, 4:08pm by Jay Richardson

Gavin & Stacey. Image shows from L to R: Nessa (Ruth Jones), Bryn (Rob Brydon)

It might not be the Gavin & Stacey return that fans are clamouring for, but the sitcom's stars Ruth Jones and Rob Brydon are reuniting for another BBC One comedy, British Comedy Guide can exclusively reveal.

The long-time friends will begin filming Ray & Gaynor in the Scottish Highlands and South Wales shortly, to air later this year.

Plot and further cast details of the 30-minute pilot have yet to emerge. But the comedy is being made by Tidy Productions, the company that Jones runs with her husband, writer-producer David Peet.

The company's most recent screen credit was the 2019 Gavin & Stacey special, which was the BBC's most-watched scripted programme of the last decade. However, BCG understands that Ray & Gaynor has no narrative connection to the Barry and Essex-set sitcom.

The pilot's director is Sandy Johnson, who worked with Jones on her Sky One comedy Stella and with Brydon on the Australian-set BBC Two sitcom Supernova. As an actor, the Glaswegian helmer previously shot in the Highlands as one of the Knights of Ni for the 1975 film Monty Python And The Holy Grail.

A self-declared "Scotlandophile", Jones has described the remote Inverkirkaig in the Highlands as her favourite place in the British Isles. She and her husband divide their time between Wales and Lochinver, where they own Peet's Restaurant and she has been known to wait the tables.

Jones and Brydon were schoolmates at Porthcawl Comprehensive School and the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama in Cardiff and appeared in amateur musical productions such as Guys And Dolls and West Side Story together.

Jones was about to quit acting to become a solicitor before Brydon got her a television break, recruiting her for a BBC Wales sketch show that also featured himself, Steve Speirs and Wayne Forrester, but which was never broadcast. In 1992, the pair joined an improv group in Bath, where they met Julia Davis, whom they would go on to collaborate with in the dark BBC sitcoms Human Remains and Nighty Night.

As Nessa Jenkins and (Uncle) Bryn West, Jones and Brydon performed a duet of Islands In The Stream in the second series of Gavin & Stacey, which they reprised the following year in 2009 for Comic Relief as Barry Islands in the Stream. Also featuring Tom Jones [no relation], it reached number one in the UK singles chart.

Jones, who is currently promoting the paperback release of her second novel, Us Three, appeared on Brydon's podcast last week, where he described her as his "second oldest friend".

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