GAVIN and Stacey co-creator Ruth Jones has shut down rumours the beloved sitcom is returning for a Christmas special this year.

Yesterday, the American entertainment blog Deadline reported the cast was set to film a new episode of the Billericay and Barry-based series over the summer with the plan to air it at Christmas, five years on from a dramatic cliffhanger.

Fans of the series were left on a cliffhanger after a Christmas special in 2019 – an episode which scored the highest overnight Christmas ratings in 12 years.

Deadline reported the new special was in pre-production stages, but Welsh actor Ruth, who starred in and co-created the show with James Corden, confirmed reports of a reunion are “sadly a rumour” on RTE Radio 1 earlier today.

Braintree and Witham Times: Reports of a Gavin and Stacey Christmas special this year are 'sadly a rumour', Ruth Jones has saidReports of a Gavin and Stacey Christmas special this year are 'sadly a rumour', Ruth Jones has said (Image: BBC/PA)

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Asked about the reports, she said: “Apparently there’s a bidding war going on between the BBC and Netflix and I love it because it says ‘a source says’, who is this source?”

She added: “It’s sadly a rumour… All I can say is, if there was something to say on that front, James and I would happily announce it, we would.”

The actress, who played Nessa in the iconic show, revealed she thinks the rumours were sparked after she was photographed having lunch with James Corden a few months ago after he returned to the UK from living in America.

“Then the next thing is ‘oh my god they must be writing more Gavin and Stacey’, which is lovely,” she said.

“It’s lovely that people are so desperate for it because imagine if it was the opposite and were like ‘oh, god, you’re not bringing that back again’.”

The comedy followed the two titular characters Gavin and Stacey, played by Mathew Horne and Joanna Page, as they pursued a relationship across Essex and Wales.

It ran for three series from 2007 to 2010, returning in 2019 for a festive special which picked up ten years after the previous instalment.

At the climax of the episode, Nessa got down on one knee to propose to James Corden’s Smithy, but viewers did not get to hear his response.

Braintree and Witham Times: James Corden and Ruth Jones wrote and starred in Gavin and Stacey togetherJames Corden and Ruth Jones wrote and starred in Gavin and Stacey together (Image: PA)

The pair had an on-off relationship during the series and in the special it was revealed they were successfully co-parenting their son, Neil.

Reflecting on the cliffhanger, Jones said: “I quite like the idea of it just lingering there and us wondering ‘what did she say? Are they together?’ “I think she’s [Nessa] still working down the slots, probably coaching the Welsh rugby team because she’s very good at that.”

The show also starred Alison Steadman and Larry Lamb as Gavin’s parents Pam and Mick while Melanie Walters and Rob Brydon portrayed Stacey’s widowed mother Gwen and her eccentric uncle Bryn.

During its time it graduated from BBC Three to BBC One and picked up multiple accolades including Bafta and British Comedy Awards gongs.

Braintree and Witham Times: Ruth Jones and James Corden as Nessa and SmithyRuth Jones and James Corden as Nessa and Smithy (Image: PA)

Speaking about what the show means to her, Ruth said: “James and I talk about Gavin and Stacey a lot because of course we do, it’s a huge part of our lives.

“We love those characters. We often say ‘oh, imagine if Bryn’s doing this and Nessa came in’.”

She added: “People say that the show got them through bad times in their life – grieving or divorce or illness. What a compliment that is… “I am complimented and so is James. We are completely grateful for what it’s done for us in our lives, because it has done a huge amount.”

The last Christmas special had been viewed by 17.1million people by the start of January 2020, making it the biggest scripted programme of the decade at the time.

It also went on to win the impact award at the National Television Awards in 2020.