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: 3,461

Press clippings Page 2

Radio Times review

The Frisky Fox is becoming to Pontyberry what the Queen Vic is to Walford. All human life is here, and anything of import happens within its walls. In this eventful episode the pub hosts a mayoral candidacy vote, an arranged marriage proposition, a Gamblers Anonymous meeting and a Star Trek-themed wake.

Writer Steve Speirs (the sadly absent Big Alan) even makes time for a love triangle for Jag and a get-together for Stella's returning ex, Rob. With further effortless comedy from Di Botcher as Aunty Brenda and a step-up in Strictly fever, it's an enjoyably breezy watch.

Mark Braxton, Radio Times, 26th January 2016

Radio Times review

Ruth Jones, here on writing duty, moves things along big time in an episode of ructions and revelations. Her title character is in London on a work trip and pays a surprise visit to Michael (Patrick Baladi). A big decision beckons, until a bolt from the blue scuppers everything.

Elsewhere, the Pontyberry mayor (Hi-de-Hi!'s Ruth Madoc!) pegs out in a council meeting, with ambitious Aunty Brenda waiting in the wings; Bobby has a drunken fling that has professional repercussions; and Jag makes a surprising discovery about his cleaner. In common with the best instalments, it's a delicious mix of sad and funny.

Mark Braxton, Radio Times, 19th January 2016

Ruth Jones's comedy-drama opens for its fifth series of slightly ridiculous storylines and panto-esque characters. Stella is being ridiculously tolerant of the fact that her current love interest, Michael, is fathering the lovechild of Beyoncé, whom Aunty Brenda refers to as the local Jezebel. Nadine is preparing to christen her daughter, while her dopey husband, Karl, is stuck on a train. Meanwhile, there's a new undertaker in Pontyberry as Ivan Schloss (Fresh Meat's Tony Gardner) comes to town. It's pleasant comfort telly.

Hannah Verdier, The Guardian, 12th January 2016

Radio Times review

Star/co-creator Ruth Jones calls another Welsh favour this week. After cameos in previous series from Lord Kinnock, presenter Gethin Jones and rugby star Scott Quinnell, Andy Fairweather Low gets to busk in a pub! The Wide Eyed and Legless singer is the kind of delightful aside at which this post-watershed Pobol y Cwm excels.

The crux of the episode is expectant vamp Beyoncé applying a financial squeeze on the rueful Michael, while comedy linchpins Bobby and Brenda tussle for the same ndertaker's job. Their interviewer is the enigmatic Ivan Schloss (the usually excellent Tony Gardner, here with an uncomfortable accent). If it's all a tad overplayed, the feel-good factor conquers all.

Mark Braxton, Radio Times, 12th January 2016

Stella review

Ruth Jones's Stella returned to Sky1 for its fifth series to restore our faith in humankind. The wholesome comedy isn't laugh-out-loud funny, but it is warming and comfortingly down to earth.

Daisy Wyatt, The Independent, 12th January 2016

Radio Times review

There's been charm by the bucketload in this series of Ruth Jones's gentle comedy and this final episode wraps things up in cockle-warming fashion. Every week has some ridiculous subplot that calls for fancy dress, and tonight Big Alan and Celia get their Antony and Cleopatra costumes on for their wedding. Stella has good news about her nursing exams, and Michael gets a job offer in London, but will they overcome their differences? Luke, meanwhile, is struggling with his gambling addiction so he's relieved when a familiar face offers help.

Hannah Verdier, Radio Times, 10th April 2015

Radio Times review

Another year, another jam-packed Stella finale. And change is in the air. Michael has an interview for a job in London; the bailiffs are sent in to penniless Luke and Zoe's house and Big and Little Alan's café is forced to close. And if all that sounds miserable, it's not.

This, after all, is the day of Big Alan's fancy dress wedding to Celia, at once ludicrous and moving. And there's another effective deployment of a returning character, too: Stella's ex Rob (Mark Lewis Jones), just in time to sort out his wayward son Luke. Not that everyone's pleased to see him. "Well, look what the cat have dragged up from the sewer," as Aunty Brenda says (Di Botcher is once again hilarious).

It's an eisteddfod of feel-good, even if one particular turnaround in fortunes at the wedding is laughably unrealistic. But there is a little salt mixed in with the marzipan. Stella will return in 2016.

Mark Braxton, Radio Times, 10th April 2015

Radio Times review

Stella goes all out to tug as many heart strings as possible in a big set-piece episode: the stag and hen dos. And it works like a dream. Stella and next-door neighbour Michael inch towards reconciliation, while working on the big celebrations, she to organise a big pamper session for the women, he to rally the troops for some paintballing.

Newly elected Aunty Brenda creates a rift with Dai Davies, the car-lot owner with the impossibly white teeth. And on the serious side, Luke has some explaining to do to wife Zoe - why are they in debt, and who is the cougar who seems to have got her claws into him? (Apart from being played by Jane Asher, that is.) You may guess where it's all going, but Stella remains deeply enjoyable. A very happy valley indeed.

Mark Braxton, Radio Times, 3rd April 2015

Radio Times review

This knockabout episode sees Common Sense Party leader Aunty Brenda on the hustings facing dodgy bookie Iwan Jenkins and a joke candidate resembling El Macho from Despicable Me 2. Looking like a superannuated Yellowcoat from Hi-de-Hi!, Brenda goes wading in with her hobnail boots. So Michael, as much to curry favour with Stella as anything else, offers a few lessons in diplomacy. But he'll need to work hard - Iwan Jenkins is all free pens, pie-in-the-sky promises and Rocky music blaring over the tannoy.

Young Ben, meanwhile, has a disastrous first date with Lily, and Bobby has one of those consoling confabs with lost soul Paula (make the most of her!). It's cheesier than Caerphilly, and similarly irresistible.

Mark Braxton, Radio Times, 27th March 2015

Radio Times review

This post-watershed Pobol y Cwm has dawdled a bit lately. That all changes with the return of a Pontyberry favourite. Stella sees a woman loitering in her road, swigging from a vodka bottle. "It can't be." It is: Stella's sister-in-law and best friend Paula (Elizabeth Berrington) - back, she says, to pay the recovering Aunty Brenda a visit. How we, her friends and the show, have missed her.

In spite of an unsavoury storyline for Luke that paints Stella in unnecessarily EastEnder-ish colours (in hock to a loan shark; becoming a male escort), it's a warm and luminous episode, with reunion and resolution, Steve Speirs in Spanx and, perhaps, a subtle nod to Julie Walters's decrepit waitress sketch from As Seen on TV. I suspect that the more you love these characters, the more you'll be dabbing your eyes at several moments.

Mark Braxton, Radio Times, 20th March 2015

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