Stella. Stella (Ruth Jones). Copyright: Tidy Productions


  • TV comedy drama
  • Sky One
  • 2012 - 2017
  • 58 episodes (6 series)

Comedy drama written by and starring Ruth Jones as Stella, a single mother struggling in the Welsh valleys. Stars Ruth Jones, Joanna Riding, Piers Ahia, Patrick Baladi, Craig Gallivan and more.

  • JustWatch Streaming rank this week: 1,785

Character guide

Stella. Stella (Ruth Jones). Copyright: Tidy Productions


AKA: Stella Lucy Morris.  Student Nurse.   Played by: Ruth Jones

Pontyberry born and bred, Stella is a mother of three - Luke, Emma and Ben - and has been single for most of their lives. Having become pregnant with Luke at the age of 16 by then-boyfriend Rob Morgan, Stella was left to cope alone when his family emigrated to Canada to avoid the scandal. It was the 80s after all.

Years later, Stella married Karl and had Emma and Ben. Bringing up her kids got in the way of her dream of becoming a nurse, especially when she and Karl divorced. In recent years she's been earning money by running an ironing business in the town, but is now attempting to follow her original dream and is training at the local hospital.

She's a lioness of a mother who'll do anything for her kids and hardly ever thinks about how she looks - hence her lovely array of rugby shirts, and bleached blonde hair that desperately needs the roots doing.

Following the last few years of huge family upheavals, Stella seems to have finally found 'the one' in the shape of charming English solicitor Michael Jackson, but true love still throws up challenges along the way.

Stella. Michael Jackson (Patrick Baladi). Copyright: Tidy Productions

Michael Jackson (Series 3-6)

Solicitor.   Played by: Patrick Baladi

Lawyer Michael does not get off to the best of starts with Stella.

Facing an acrimonious divorce in which his wife has run off with former friend and third partner in their law firm, Michael is facing the upheaval, stress and intimidation of a lifetime, and is completely out of his comfort zone in the street.

After the initial tension however, he and Stella seem to make a very good match indeed.

Now struggling with the repercussions of an unwanted pregnancy after a one-night stand with local girl Beyoncé, Michael lives and works in London during the week and commutes home to Pontyberry each Friday.

Stella. Luke (Craig Gallivan). Copyright: Tidy Productions


Car Salesman.   Played by: Craig Gallivan

Stella's eldest, Luke is a troubled soul who never quite fitted in until he found solace in the joyriding of stolen cars.

A good boy at heart who loves his mum, he grew up without his father - but Rob Morgan's return to the Welsh valleys helped Luke start to turn his life around after a short prison term.

After a brief stint in the building trade with his father's assistance, and a successful spell at Dai Davies's second-hand car lot, Luke's currently acting as a single father whilst wife Zoe is away.

Stella. Emma (Catrin Stewart). Copyright: Tidy Productions

Emma (Series 1-3 & 5-6)

Hairdresser.   Played by: Catrin Stewart

Emma - Stella's second offspring - is not the brightest star in the galaxy but she's sweet, loving and funny.

Stella had been pinning all of her hopes on her 18-year old daughter, so when she got pregnant by long-term boyfriend Sunil, Stella had trouble with the situation.

Emma and Sunil soon got married and settled down together, but following a dalliance at his university they've already divorced.

Two years on from the unhappy event, Emma began training as a hairdresser - unfortunately, falling in love with her boss sent those plans off the tracks.

Could first love Sunil be her saviour? He's been offered a year's work whilst training in his ancestral homeland of India, and Emma and baby Abhra have gone to join them.

Stella. Ben (Justin Davies). Copyright: Tidy Productions


Student.   Played by: Justin Davies

In his late-teens, Ben is Stella's youngest and brainiest child. He is very much the baby of the family, with a natural curiosity that often gets him into trouble.

It's Ben's inquisitive mind that caused a major upheaval in the family: he got in touch with elder half-brother Luke's father, Rob, a successful businessman in Canada.

Unfortunately for Ben, he's erring dangerously close to his brother's former path now he's growing older. He has a good heart underneath, but can he resist some of the temptations life throws him? Especially now, broken-hearted after being dumped by girlfriend Lily...

Stella. Aunty Brenda (Di Botcher). Copyright: Tidy Productions

Aunty Brenda (Series 2-6)

Councillor & Receptionist.   Played by: Di Botcher

Aunty Brenda is a force of nature and the busibody to end all busibodies. She may only be an actual aunt to Stella, but the whole of Pontyberry known her by the moniker.

Fierce and forthright, she's never afraid to share her opinion, often sticking her nose in where it's certainly not welcome. When it comes to the crunch however, she's always supportive of family.

Smarting over the recent collapse of her business with Dai Davies, Brenda's Buses, she's recovering from a heart attack and enjoying her status as the most recently elected member of the local council.

Stella. Zoe (Bethan Witcomb). Copyright: Tidy Productions

Zoe (Series 2-6)

AKA: Zoe Morris.  Mother.   Played by: Bethan Witcomb

Sweet and gentle Zoe is married to Luke, and the mother of his first and only child.

Unfortunately for Luke, their lives are complicated by the fact she's also the ex-girlfriend and mother to the child of his long-term arch nemesis and fellow jailbird, Lenny Mack.

Having weathered Lenny's attempts to get Zoe back, she and Luke are now happily married and trying to enjoy a life of their own.

Stella. Alan (Steve Speirs). Copyright: Tidy Productions

Alan (Series 1-4)

AKA: Alan Williams.  Restaurateur.   Played by: Steve Speirs

Alan is a youth rugby coach. He is a single dad having been given custody of Little Alan when his mean-spirited ex-wife Melissa left him for Keith.

Alan's been deeply in love with Stella since school, but she has really only ever thought of him as a friend.

Previously a lollipop man outside the local high school, Alan turned to taxi driving to make ends meet when the crossing was automated. The new job brought him into contact with the sweet-natured Celia, and after some initial frostiness, the pair are now very much in love.

Stella. Little Alan (Daniel Gammond). Copyright: Tidy Productions

Little Alan

Chef.   Played by: Daniel Gammond

A miniature version of his dad, Little Alan shares his father's love of pasties.

Ben's best friend, Little Alan finds himself unwillingly torn between his mother and father's increasingly bitter battles - but he's very clear it's his dad he wants to stay with.

Little Al's world revolves increasingly around food. He's always been a tad on the chunky side, but is now determined to follow his dream of becoming a chef, and his dad is equally determined to support him.

Following the collapse of his business with his father, French-themed restaurant Le Cafe De Les Alans, it remains to be seen which culinary road Alan will journey down next. In the meantime, he's more than occupied with new love Cerys.

Stella. Nadine (Karen Paullada). Copyright: Tidy Productions


Played by: Karen Paullada

Nadine is a Valleys 'princess', fake-tanned within an inch of her life. She thinks she's better than the people she lives with and has ideas well beyond her station.

Constantly insisting - in vain - to be called 'Nay-deen' rather than 'Nu-deen', she often manages to rub Stella up the wrong way. It's not that she's a nasty person, and would hate to think she's offended anyone, but much like Karl she wasn't blessed with a high level of intelligence. Her dim-witted manner might grate, but it also provides Stella with a lot of entertainment!

Having previously run a tanning salon with Karl, she's tried supplementing her income by organising the local Blubber Busters weight loss group, and has most recently been waitressing at the Alans' restaurant.

Now a mother for the first time though, Nadine's got plenty on her hands.

Stella. Karl (Julian Lewis Jones). Copyright: Tidy Productions

Karl (Series 1-5)

AKA: Karl Morris.  Plasterer.   Played by: Julian Lewis Jones

A plasterer and typical valleys boy, Karl was married to Stella for eight years before going off with Nadine, whom he met down the gym. Since then he's literally turned a different colour - bleached blond hair and orange fake tan.

Karl might best be described as one of life's simpler creatures. He's an optimist in most situations, and tends to think everything in life is 'stunnin'.

Despite his lack of intelligence, Karl's always been a good dad to his kids - and Luke - and isn't too bad an ex-husband either.

Recently returned from some lucrative work in Abu Dhabi, Karl's often between jobs, but has recently found work on a North Sea oil rig, so flits between Pontyberry and Aberdeen.

Stella. Bobby (Aled Pugh). Copyright: Tidy Productions


AKA: Bobby Gittins.  Undertaker's Assistant.   Played by: Aled Pugh

Bobby was the assistant at Daddy's undertakers'.

Very 'Valleys' and very camp, he can be warm as custard and icy as a chisel. He's very good at his job, and loves to console, but isn't always the best at planning ahead.

Bobby's recently moved in with Stella to help her out with rent money.

Stella. Paula (Elizabeth Berrington). Copyright: Tidy Productions

Paula (Series 1-2 & 4-6)

AKA: Paula Kosh.  Played by: Elizabeth Berrington

Stella's best friend since school, Paula is a functioning alcoholic. She previously ran Simpsons Funeral Services with her father, who is known too all in Pontyberry simply as 'Daddy'.

Married to Stella's brother, Dai, Paula has a voracious appetite for sex and a taste for adventure in her lovemaking; but after years of extremely happy marriage, she's got a little bored.

Having disappeared with Dai to Tenerife, Paula returns after almost 18 months without contact. Stella can instantly tell something's not right: she and Dai are getting divorced. Amidst her disillusionment, Paula decides to take Daddy to New Zealand to visit relatives.

Stella. Jagadeesh (Pal Aron). Copyright: Tidy Productions

Jagadeesh (Series 1-3 & 5-6)

Landlord.   Played by: Pal Aron

Jag was born in India and moved with his parents to Leeds when he was a teenager. A born diplomat, he spends much of his time pouring oil over troubled waters, usually waters that have been troubled by ex-wife Tanisha.

Previously the proprietor of the local newsagents and general store, he is the proud father of Sunil and bemused father of Jasminder, and has just become landlord of the local pub, The Frisky Fox.

Stella. Beyonce (Remy Beasley). Copyright: Tidy Productions

Beyonce (Series 4-6)

Played by: Remy Beasley

A local loudmouth, Beyonce is a young woman who knows what she wants and will stop at nothing to get it.

Having seduced Michael during a rough patch in his relationship with Stella, she's now lording her position as expectant mother over anyone she can - and being predictably rude in the process.

Stella. Celia (Emma Rydal). Copyright: Tidy Productions

Celia (Series 3-5)

Student Nurse.   Played by: Emma Rydal

Celia is a gentle soul, and still in grieving for her son, who died of leukaemia a few years ago, aged just 11.

Initially cold and untrusting of people, she bumps into Alan through his work as a taxi driver, and again through Blubber Busters - she's struggled with her weight for years. His charm and kind nature soon win her over.

Having worked at the local retirement home for the last few years, Celia is now resuming training to become a nurse, alongside Stella at the local hospital.

Stella. Yanto (Russell Gomer). Copyright: Tidy Productions


Played by: Russell Gomer

Pontyberry lad Yanto is the former partner of Aunty Brenda's daughter, Verv. Following her departure for more globe-trotting travels, he's stuck around with Stella, Aunty Brenda and the gang.

Stella. Cheryl (Clare Hingott). Copyright: Tidy Productions

Cheryl (Series 3-6)

Nurse.   Played by: Clare Hingott

Cheryl is the no-nonsense senior nurse and tutor to Celia and Stella, who find her hilarious and terrifying in equal measure.

Now renting a room from Aunty Brenda, she's a little too close to Stella for comfort - and far too close to Aunty Brenda, who's aghast at her new tenant's enthusiasm for nudism!

Stella. Katie (Martha Mackintosh). Copyright: Tidy Productions

Katie (Series 3-5)

AKA: Katie Jackson.  Played by: Martha Mackintosh

Katie is Michael's daughter, and the Morris clan's new part-time next door neighbour.

Very pretty and very smart, Katie became a little wayward amidst the mess of her parents' acrimonious divorce and her selfish, sniping mother, with whom she lived for most of the time.

Following a near self-destructive accident, Katie's now getting back on the right path. Living between her parents and studying at the local college, she's very proud of being the first of her friends to pass a driving test.

Stella. Rhian (Maxine Evans). Copyright: Tidy Productions


Played by: Maxine Evans

Rhian hasn't had a shower for some time. She was at school with Stella and already has seven grandchildren.

Stella occasionally bumps into Rhian in the street - and she's far too familiar! She means well, but has a slightly limited vocabulary. Everything in Rhian's world is either 'cockin rosy' or a 'cockin disaster'.

Stella. Glen Brennig (Dafydd Hywel). Copyright: Tidy Productions

Glen Brennig

Played by: Dafydd Hywel

Glen and Marj have a horse - that sleeps in their house!

Stella. Daddy (Howell Evans). Copyright: Tidy Productions

Daddy (Series 1-4)

Undertaker.   Played by: Howell Evans

Paula's father and the owner of Simpsons Funeral Services. Daddy is very opinionated - it's just that no-one other than the people around him can actually understand a word he's saying.

When Paula was around he and Bobby had a bit of a love/hate relationship, and whilst it's still a little touchy on occasion, since her departure the pair have had to get on far more professionally.

Late in 2014, Daddy sold the business and went into retirement.

Stella. Marj (Deddie Davies). Copyright: Tidy Productions

Marj (Series 1 & 3-5)

Played by: Deddie Davies

Marj is one of Stella's neighbours, across the road. She lives with husband Glen and their donkey.

It'd be fair to describe the pair as somewhat aged, and more than a little quirky!

Stella. Parvadi (Yasmine Akram). Copyright: Tidy Productions

Parvadi (Series 3-4)

Played by: Yasmine Akram

Parvadi is Jagadeesh and Tanisha's niece.

Born and raised in Ireland, she's been sent over to Wales by her parents in an attempt to improve her behaviour and attitude. Bored brainless by the slow, uneventful life in Ireland she's become a bit of a trouble-maker and amateur hellraiser.

Jagadeesh quickly takes her under his wing and hopes to school her in the fine art of shopkeeping, but Parvadi's still attracted to the bad boys and has her eye on a rear corner of the store that the CCTV cameras don't cover!

Stella. Tanisha (Sudha Bhuchar). Copyright: Tidy Productions

Tanisha (Series 1-3)

Played by: Sudha Bhuchar

Tanisha is a bit of a snob. She's ultra proud of her would-be doctor son, Sunil and wishes on a daily basis that her daughter Jasminder wasn't such a disappointment.

She was never best pleased about Sunny's relationship with Emma. A traditionalist, she initially hoped it was just a phase, but the realist in her grew to accept the couple - eventually. Nevertheless, she's by no means upset they've now split up, and doesn't hold back in letting the Morrises aware of her contempt of them.

Stella. Dai (Owen Teale). Copyright: Tidy Productions

Dai (Series 1-2)

AKA: David Kosh.  Played by: Owen Teale

Dai is Stella's big brother. He is an ex-serviceman injured on duty; he's honourable at heart, but can't help milking his incapacity a little. He doesn't work now but is always willing to help.

There's little Dai likes more than engaging in some kinky sex role-play with wife Paula - it's nearly got him arrested on multiple occasions!

Dai adores Paula, and is left distraught when she leaves him. But the pair appear to make it up, and run off to Tenerife together.

Stella. Sunil (Rory Girvan). Copyright: Tidy Productions

Sunil (Series 1-2)

Student Doctor.   Played by: Rory Girvan

Sunil is a bright boy, destined for medical school. He's gorgeous and quiet and gentle, and very much his father's son. He's totally in love with Emma, and it's not long before they're married and have a child, Abhra.

However, getting to university is a big culture shock for Sunil, exposing him to ways of life and new people he had never imagined. Not to mention the temptations of beautiful fellow-student Leah, who set out to seduce him and undermine Emma.

Emma and Sunil have now divorced, but it seems he may still hold a candle for his ex-wife: continuing his medical training in India for the next year, he's arranged for Emma and baby Abhra to join him.

Stella. Marcus (James Thornton). Copyright: Tidy Productions

Marcus (Series 3)

AKA: Marcus Jensen.  Hair Stylist.   Played by: James Thornton

Marcus Jensen is the high-flying co-owner of a local salon with his wife, Collette.

Having won numerous awards for his hairdressing skill, he's highly sought-after and it's a real coup for Emma when she gets a coveted trainee position at the salon.

Marcus loves his wife, and their children, but having had a 'fling' some years ago, things still aren't quite right between them.

And then there's Emma...

Stella. Jasminder (Taj Atwal). Copyright: Tidy Productions

Jasminder (Series 1-2 & 5)

Barmaid.   Played by: Taj Atwal

Jasminder is very much her own person. Like Emma, she had no interest whatsoever in school and still just wants to have a good time all of the time.

She's currently working as bar stuff in her father's pub.

Stella. Sean (Kenny Doughty). Copyright: Tidy Productions

Sean (Series 1-2)

Played by: Kenny Doughty

Sean is an 'in-comer' to the Valley, originally from Barnsley in Yorkshire. He's a gentle, kind, gorgeous looking painter and decorator who gets to know Stella as the series unfolds.

Stella, however, is perhaps not quite as in love with Sean as he is with her...

Stella. Rob Morgan (Mark Lewis Jones). Copyright: Tidy Productions

Rob Morgan (Series 1-2 & 4-6)

Played by: Mark Lewis Jones

Rob came from a well-to-do Pontyberry family who owned Morgan Chempak, a pill packing factory back in the 80s. Rob and Stella went out together when they were at school. They were each other's first loves.

Rob made Stella pregnant when she was 16 and his family, fearing the scandal, upped and emigrated to Canada before the baby was even born. Stella was left broken hearted to bring up the baby on her own. She never heard from Rob again.

However, when Rob returns to Pontyberry it quickly becomes clear that his feelings for Stella never faded, and he was beholden to his parents' wishes. Now a successful businessman in Canada, he's keen to use his money to support son Luke in turning his life around, and to do what he can for Stella and the rest of Pontyberry - preferably as her husband.

Stella. Meg (Maggie Steed). Copyright: Tidy Productions

Meg (Series 1)

Played by: Maggie Steed

Meg is Stella and Dai's mother - a real Welsh Valleys 'mam' with a melodramatic attitude to everything.

Stella. Ken (Michael Elwyn). Copyright: Tidy Productions

Ken (Series 1 & 6)

Played by: Michael Elwyn

Ken is Stella and Dai's father. He keeps his wife in check and is the voice of reason in the family. Ken is a gentle, loving, ex-miner.

Stella. Nancy (Joanna Scanlan). Copyright: Tidy Productions

Nancy (Series 1)

Played by: Joanna Scanlan

An upbeat eternal optimist from Birmingham, Nancy is a Jill-of-all-trades who travels around in her camper van making money however she can. One of her outlets is selling products from the Living Change range. When she comes to Pontyberry, she falls instantly in love with Alan.

Stella. Ivan Schloss (Tony Gardner). Copyright: Tidy Productions

Ivan Schloss (Series 5)

Undertaker.   Played by: Tony Gardner

New to Pontyberry, Romanian undertaker Ivan Schloss ("International Director of Funerals") is the new owner of the funeral parlour.

Share this page