It’s the news we’ve been waiting nearly 10 years for – everyone’s favourite sitcom Gavin and Stacey is returning for a Christmas special.
The BBC comedy about a boy from Essex and a girl from Barry who tried to navigate the dramas of long-distance love and relocating to each other’s hometowns aired from 2007 to 2010.
We haven’t caught up with the couple since New Year’s Day 2010, so we can’t wait to find out what life had in store for them.
When is Gavin and Stacey back?
James Corden not only played key character Smithy, he also co-wrote the show with Ruth Jones who played Nessa.
He made the exciting announcement that Gavin and Stacey would be returning by tweeting a picture of the finished script – and promising we’d see the new episode on Christmas Day this year.
As Call the Midwife usually takes BBC One’s 8pm Christmas Day slot, we’re going to hazard a guess that Gavin and Stacey will be on at 9pm.
Will there be a full series?
Sadly, it doesn’t look as though this will mark the full-time return of Gavin and Stacey.
James and Ruth released a joint statement with their announcement that made it sound very clear this would be a one-off treat.
It said: "Over the last 10 years we've talked a lot about Gavin and Stacey - where they might be today and what their lives might look like.
"And so in secret we took the plunge and wrote this one hour special.
"We've loved revisiting Barry and Essex again, and bringing the characters back together has been a joy.
"We're so excited to get the chance to work with our fabulous cast and crew once more and to give fans of the show a festive treat this Christmas."
I’m so excited! It’s happening!! See you at Christmas!!!!! #gavinandstacey— Joanna Page (@jopage_) May 28, 2019
The original show run lasted for three series, with an hour-long Christmas special that aired on Christmas Eve between series two and three.
Gavin and Stacey’s final episode of series three aired on New Year’s Day in 2010.
Who is returning to the cast?
Of course, it wouldn’t be Gavin and Stacey without the title characters, so luckily Mathew Horne and Joanna Page will be back.
They’ll also be joined by best mates Smithy and Nessa, played by the show’s writers James Corden and Ruth Jones.
SURPRISE!!! SURPRISE!!! SURPRISE!!! SURPRISE!!! SURPRISE!!! SURPRISE!!! SURPRISE!!!!!!!! https://t.co/7LFFyi2st5— Rob Brydon (@RobBrydon) May 28, 2019
Other key characters we know will be returning include Uncle Bryn (Rob Brydon), Gavin’s parents Pam and Mick (Alison Steadman and Larry Lamb), and Stacey’s mum Gwen (Melanie Walters).
We’re hoping to see some of the show’s brilliant extended cast back for more, including Adrian Scarborough and Julie Davis as the perennially warring couple Pete and Dawn, Steffan Rhodri as Dave Coaches, and Pam Ferris as Smithy’s mum Cath.
Then there’s Robert Wilfort as Stacey’s brother Jason, Russell Tovey as friend Budgie, and Mathew Baynton as Smithy’s building partner Deano who would all make welcome additions.
Sadly, Margaret John, who was well loved as Gwen’s potty-mouthed neighbour Doris, passed away just a year after series three ended.
Who is not in the cast?
Sheridan Smith will not be back in the Christmas special as Ruth 'Rudi' Smith.
In the original series, Sheridan played the sister of Corden's character Smithy.
Speaking on Zoe Ball's Radio 2 show, the actress revealed that she was not taking part in the festive episode.
“I wish. No, I’m not going to be in it, I think," she said.
Smith’s character was known for her fractious relationship with her brother and their amusing impromptu raps.
What will happen?
Last time we saw Gavin and Stacey, we left the crew sitting on Barry seafront with a heavily pregnant Stacey discussing which takeaway to order.
They’d been trying for a baby for a while and her pregnancy was unexpected happy news in the final episode – but what will their child be like, and will parenthood be everything they hoped for?
Series three’s last episode also saw Smithy call a halt to Nessa and Dave’s wedding, and by the final scene he seemed to be in an actual relationship with Nessa, who is the mother of his child, but it wasn’t clear how committed they were or where they were living.
We’re also looking forward to finding out which couples are still together, whether Dawn and Pete are on speaking terms, and maybe even finally discovering what went on between Bryn and Jason on that fishing trip.
Gavin and Stacey Christmas special is due to air on BBC One on Christmas Day 2019.
Catch up on the story with BT TV – look for Gavin and Stacey on the BBC iPlayer app.