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: 3,289

Press clippings Page 8

Stella's home is fast becoming a refuge for errant wives as this second exemplary series continues. Her daughter's fallen out with her med student husband, and sister-in-law Paula needs some space from Dai. Meanwhile, russet love god Rob is back in Pontyberry to cause trouble for both Stella and the local rugby club. The only slightly weak link is Paul Kaye's ridiculously OTT Scandinavian life coach, who comes to town to charm the locals into attending his self-help seminar. Apart from that, brilliant stuff.

Julia Raeside, The Guardian, 31st January 2013

Tricky times for the Pontyberry menfolk. The university ball is fast approaching for Sunil (Rory Girvan), which means he'll have to fend off his vampish fellow student Leah once and for all, and remember his wife and child at home.

Alan (Steve Speirs) has to think about his next move, with his job as a lollipop man coming to an end after "three years, man and boy" and his snotty ex-wife strutting around with gifts for Little Alan. Worst of all is the predicament that Dai (Owen Teale) finds himself in.

He's jobless and, in a strand that forms part of one of the funniest episodes Stella has yet produced, still unable to perform in the bedroom. Auntie Brenda (Di Botcher) comes to the rescue with some blue pills she picked up in Spain: "They'll turn a button mushroom into a stick of celery before you can say Heston Blumenthal."

Jack Seale, Radio Times, 25th January 2013

Ruth Jones's charming and truthful Welsh comedy drama finds the heroine, Stella (Jones), out of sorts after recent revelations until Aunty Brenda (Di Botcher) arranges a job at the bap factory, although later there is an unpromising reunion with Rob (Mark Lewis Jones). Russell Grant makes an appearance at the opening of Nadine (Karen Paullada) and Karl's (Julian Lewis Jones) new salon and Emma (Catrin Stewart) stakes her claim for Sunil (Rory Girvan) at his student ball.

Simon Horsford, The Telegraph, 24th January 2013

This comedy drama is the polar opposite of escapism - its gentle, underwhelming, slightly humdrum stylings will be vaguely familiar to everyone. That's presumably the point: Ruth Jones has always been strong on the minutiae of day-to-day life. In tonight's second episode, she goes one step further and discards one of the main potential drama-triggers of this series. Elsewhere, confusion over paternity continues, Paula faces a staffing crisis at the undertakers (surely her boozing is a minor flashpoint waiting to happen?) and Luke's Canadian adventure is jeopardised. All in all, the likeable performances and breezy script just about make up for the fact that nothing much is happening. All the same, this often feels like a dead heat between amiable and aimless.

Phil Harrison, Time Out, 19th January 2013

Stella's freewheeling family is one big ball of confusion tonight. Her kids are on emotionally challenging ground, with Ben pining for a girl who doesn't even notice him and daughter Emma feeling left behind when Sunil starts a new life at uni. But it's Stella (Ruth Jones) who's most in a spin as she tries to get her head around how she's had babies with a clutch of different dads. Then fate intervenes...

Carol Carter and Larushka Ivan-Zadeh, Metro, 18th January 2013

That's the trouble with having so many good characters in your multi-stranded ensemble comedy drama: what if part of the show ends up being worthy of its own series? Ruth Jones and her writers will be in that predicament if they keep coming up with such good scenes for Elizabeth Berrington as Paula, the randy, boozy undertaker who this week has to face the fact that her randy, dopey husband Dai is hopeless at the job. At the very least she needs to get someone else to apply make-up to the corpses.

Everything else seems monochrome in comparison, as Luke returns home and Alun's luck worsens still further when his attempt to raise money by flogging old tat ends up making a massive loss.

But there's a lovely subplot in which 13-year-old Ben tries to learn about the ladies, and a surprise in store.

Jack Seale, Radio Times, 18th January 2013

Like another of Sky1's comedies, Starlings, Ruth Jones's series remains adept at observing the humour and hardships of life. As season two continues, Stella (Jones) has confessed to Sean (Kenny Doughty) about her night with her ex (Mark Lewis Jones) and not surprisingly he is planning to leave Pontyberry - but there is a twist in the tale. Her mood isn't improved when she hears that her eldest child, Luke (Craig Gallivan), has been deported from Canada, while undertaker Paula (Elizabeth Berrington) falls out with Dai (Owen Teale) because of his tendency to make-up the dead to "look like Joan Rivers".

Simon Horsford, The Telegraph, 17th January 2013

How much more lovable can Ruth Jones's Stella get? The frazzled heroine isn't having much luck, what with Luke being deported and Sean storming out after finding out she slept with her ex. You can't fight the urge to be her cheerleader, especially with the prospect of a lonely baby scan looming. Stella's extended family offer so much cheeriness and warmth, from best mate Paula's gallows humour at the undertakers to her orange ex-husband Karl and his brain-free philosophy. "Feel them guns," he orders, after giving little Ben his first workout. "Proper little Jodie Marsh, in't he?"

Hannah Verdier, The Guardian, 17th January 2013

Sky1's Stella pulls in 675,000

Show written by and starring Gavin and Stacey's Ruth Jones picks up 2.7% share between 9pm and 10pm.

Mark Sweney, The Guardian, 14th January 2013

Ruth Jones interview

'Thank you for saying "different from", not "different to", that's my big bugbear at the moment,' smiles Ruth Jones at the end of our chat about the second series of her hit comedy drama Stella. It throws me off balance for a second. It's a new one on me to have my syntax applauded by an interviewee.

Keith Watson, Metro, 11th January 2013

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