Stella (UK TV series)

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Stella
Genre Comedy-drama
Created by Ruth Jones
David Peet
Written by Ruth Jones
Rob Evans
Steve Speirs
Ben Edwards
Simon Ludders
Directed by Sandy Johnson
Sue Tully
Juliet May
Tony Dow
Mandie Fletcher
Sarah O'Gorman
Starring See Cast
Opening theme "And Then She Smiles" by The Mock Turtles
Composer(s) Mark Thomas
Simon H Jones
Nick Lloyd
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 5 (+1 Special)
No. of episodes 51 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Barry Lynch
Lucy Lumsden
Ruth Jones
Jon Mountague
Producer(s) Jane Dauncey
Josh Dynevor
Editor(s) Sara Jones
Peter Hallworth
John Richards
Running time 60 minutes (inc. adverts)
90 minutes (inc. adverts)
(2014 Special)
Production company(s) Tidy Productions
Release
Original network Sky 1
Picture format 16:9 (1080i HDTV)
Original release 6 January 2012 (2012-01-06) – present
External links
Official Website

Stella is a British comedy-drama created and written by David Peet and Ruth Jones who plays the lead role of Stella. Stella is one of the flagship television comedy series that has been commissioned and aired on Sky1. The series is largely filmed in Ferndale in the Rhondda Valley in Wales.[1] Just as the show reached halfway through the first series, it was confirmed that a second series was commissioned and premiered on 11 January 2013.[2] Just before the second series even aired, Sky recommissioned the show for a third series and premiered on 24 January 2014[3] with a Christmas Special to follow on 22 December 2014. As the show reached halfway through the third series, it was confirmed that a fourth series was commissioned and premiered on 6 February 2015.[4] After the fourth series concluded, it was confirmed that a fifth series was commissioned and premiered on 12 January 2016.[5] Various celebrities make guest appearances as themselves in some episodes.

Background[edit]

The series is set in the fictional village of Pontyberry in the South Wales Valleys. Stella is a 40-something single mum who earns a living doing the locals' ironing. Most of the time, she's relatively happy with life as she juggles the ups and downs of her family, amid the chaos of her eccentric friends, relatives and children's fathers. Her brood consists of eldest son Luke, who starts the series in prison as a consequence of stealing five cars and a lorry; 16-year-old Emma who's smitten with her first love Sunil; and 12-year-old Ben.

Then there's Stella's best friend, sister-in-law Paula, a functioning alcoholic funeral director. Stella's not-too-bright ex-husband Karl who's now seeing 28-year-old Nadine; not forgetting lollipop man and youth rugby coach Alan, an old school friend of Stella's who's been in love with her since 1984. Finally there's Stella's brother Dai who is an ex-serviceman injured on duty. He doesn't work now but is always willing to help out while enjoying an exciting sex life with his wife Paula.

A running joke of the series is the Daddy character played by Howell Evans who only speaks in an unfathomable language, yet everyone in the village is able to understand him but outsiders cannot. However, Daddy appears in the choir scenes where he appears to sing the same words as the rest of the choir members. In episode 2.7 Ashley Banjo thinks Daddy is speaking Welsh but Paula says Daddy does not speak Welsh. However, in episode 2.10 Aunty Brenda says Daddy can speak Welsh and Punjabi.

A number of main cast members did not return after the second series and exited off screen. Consequently new cast members were added for the third series.

Catrin Stewart did not return as Emma in the fourth series having departed on screen in the Christmas special but returned in episodes 9 and 10 in Series 5. Several other cast members also did not return.

In Series 4 Episode 7 Elizabeth Berrington returned as Paula Kosh after having not appeared since Series 2, however her return was only temporary, she departed in Episode 8. She also returned in episodes 7 and 8 of Series 5, because of Daddy's death.

The Series 4 finale ended on a cliffhanger, Beyonce informed Michael that she was 12 weeks pregnant with his baby and gave him a scan photo.

Synopsis[edit]

Stella is a warm, funny, down-to-earth family saga starring Ruth Jones in the titular role as a mum juggling the demands of life, love and the next door neighbour's donkey. Stella is a 40-something mum who earns a living doing the locals' washing and ironing. And, most of the time, she's relatively happy with life as she juggles the ups and downs of her family, amid the chaos of her eccentric friends, relatives and children's fathers. Her brood consists of eldest son Luke, a lovely boy who starts the series in prison; beautiful 16-year-old Emma who's smitten with her first love Sunil; the brains of the family 12-year-old Ben and their dog Banjo.

Then there's Stella's best friend Paula, a functioning alcoholic funeral director. Stella's not-too-bright ex-husband Karl who's now seeing 28-year-old Nadine; not forgetting lollipop man and youth rugby coach Alan, an old school friend of Stella's who's been in love with her since 1984. Finally there's Stella's brother Dai who is an ex-serviceman injured on duty. He doesn't work now but is always willing to help out while enjoying an exciting sex life with his wife. Stella's life isn't straightforward. Bagging toy boy Sean and son Luke's release from prison indicated that things were on an upward turn in the first run, but teenage daughter Emma's pregnancy and the untimely return of Stella's first love Rob soon knocked the family off balance. In the last episode, Luke revealed he was emigrating to Canada, although Stella stole the show by confessing to Emma that she was pregnant - but didn't know if Rob or Sean was the father.

Series two joins Stella and Sean preparing for their new arrival, while Emma and Sunil adjust to married life. Domestic bliss looks doubtful for both, however, as Rob's business dealings bring him back to Pontyberry and Sunil enrols at a brainy (and boozy) medical school. Elsewhere, Dai begins work at the funeral home with wife Paula, creating untoward problems for the usually adventurous couple. Catch up with lollipop man Alan too, who experiences a run of bad luck when his crossing is replaced by traffic lights. Karl and Nadine's new salon Tantastic Bodies, meanwhile, promises to make the town "browner and beefier", and they've already got a potential client in Aunty Brenda, a new arrival from Tenerife armed with bags of insults and an appetite to offend.

English lawyer Michael Jackson moves to the house next door to Stella after an acrimonious divorce has caused him to downsize his lifestyle. As he tries to adjust to valley life he soon becomes inextricably linked to Stella's household. When we left Pontyberry at the end of Series 2 Stella had made the life changing decision not to go to Canada with Rob. She also parted ways with Sean and he emigrated to Australia with his new love. As the story picks up for series 3 will Stella have entirely given up on men? Or could new neighbour Michael become the new apple of her eye?

Cast[edit]

Main cast[edit]

Actor/Actress Character Duration Notes
Ruth Jones Stella Morris/Jackson 2012–Present
Craig Gallivan Luke Morgan 2012–Present Eldest son of Stella
Catrin Stewart Emma Morris/Choudary 2012–2014, 2016–Present Daughter of Stella
Justin Davies Ben Morris 2012–Present Youngest son of Stella
Patrick Baladi Michael Jackson 2014–Present Boyfriend/Husband of Stella

Supporting cast[edit]

Actor/Actress Character Duration
Julian Lewis Jones Karl Morris 2012–Present
Aled Pugh Bobby Gittins 2012–Present
Daniel Gammond Little Alan 2012–Present
Maxine Evans Rhian Evans 2012–Present
Russell Gomer Yanto Beed 2012–Present
Dafydd Hywel Glen Brennig 2012–Present
Deddie Davies Marj Brennig 2012, 2014–Present
Pal Aron Jagadeesh Choudary 2012–2014, 2016–Present
Taj Atwal Jasminder Choudary 2012–2013, 2016–Present
Scott Quinnell Himself 2012-Present
Wayne Cater George the Butcher 2012–Present
Josh Cook Keckers 2012-Present
Di Botcher Aunty Brenda Draper 2013–Present
Bethan Witcomb Zoe 2013—Present
Martha Mackintosh Katie Jackson 2014–Present
Emma Rydal Celia Braxton 2014–Present
Clare Hingot Cheryl Spragg 2014–Present
Grace Fan Betty Wong 2014–Present
Remy Beasley Beyonce Evans 2015–Present
Alice Hewkin Lily 2015–Present
Leona Vaughan Cerys Ferris 2015–Present
Suzanne Packer Carole 2016–Present
Karen Paullada Nadine Bevan 2012–2016
Mark Lewis Jones Rob Morgan 2012–2013, 2015, 2016
Elizabeth Berrington Paula Kosh 2012–2013, 2015, 2016
Tim Rhys-Evans Himself 2016
Tony Gardner Ivan Schloss 2016
Laila Rouass Maria 2016
Ruth Madoc Mayor Mary Meyer 2016
Richard Harrington Ian Meyer 2016
Patricia Kane Dotty 2016
Andy Fairweather Low Himself 2016
Clive Russell Uncle Clem Draper 2016

Former cast[edit]

Actor/Actress Character Duration
Owen Teale Dai Kosh 2012–2013
Kenny Doughty Sean McGaskill 2012–2013
Beth Robert Mrs. Barclay 2012–2013
Menna Trussler Bopa Boyce 2012–2013
Maggie Steed Meg, Stella's mother 2012
Michael Elwyn Ken, Stella's father 2012
Donna Edwards Mo the Bap 2012–2013
Nadia Kamil Bethan 2012–2013
Joanna Riding Melissa 2013
Joanna Scanlan Nancy 2012
Lucinda Dryzek Leah 2013
Paul Kaye Peschman Hodd 2013
Howell Evans Uncle Huw Simpson 2013
James Corden Steven 2012
Melanie Walters Sonographer 2013
Andy Linden Big Rae 2012–2013
James Thornton Marcus Jensen 2014
Denise Gough Collette Jensen 2014
Katie Elin-Salt Amy Edwards 2012, 2014
Tilly Blackwood Jan Jackson 2014
Ian Lavender Keith Jackson 2014
Keith Barron The Captain 2014
Gareth Pierce Lenny Mack 2013–2014
Eiri Hughes Verv/Vivienne 2014
Sudha Bhuchar Tanisha Chaudary 2012–2014
Rory Girvan Sunil Choudary 2012–2013, 2014
Steve Speirs Alan Williams 2012–2015
Anthony O'Donnell Dai Davies 2012–2015
Yasmine Akram Parvadi 2014–2015
Celyn Jones Brother Alan 2014–2015
Vern Griffiths Dewi Phillips 2015
Ramon Tikaram Mr. Jeffrey Honey 2015
Jamie Lomas Dan Braxton 2015
Richard Elfyn Iwan Jenkins 2015
Jane Asher Hazel 2015
Wynne Evans Dafydd Sanchez 2015
Howell Evans Daddy Simpson 2012–2015
Michelle Luther Carley 2015
Michelle McTernan WPC Jane Glover 2012–2014, 2015

DVD release[edit]

The complete first series of Stella was released on DVD on 12 March 2012.[6]

The complete second series of Stella was released on DVD on 18 March 2013.[7]

The complete third series of Stella was released on DVD on 31 March 2014.[8]

The complete fourth series and the 2014 Christmas Special of Stella was released on DVD on 13 April 2015.[9]

The complete fifth series of Stella was released on DVD on 21 March 2016. A series 1-5 boxset was also released.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Stella filmed in Ferndale
  2. ^ Sky order 2nd series of Ruth Jones comedy drama Stella, retrieved 10 February 2012
  3. ^ Ruth Jones's Stella gets third series, retrieved 25 August 2012
  4. ^ Sky orders Series 4 of Ruth Jones comedy drama Stella, retrieved 27 February 2014
  5. ^ Jones, Hannah (14 August 2015). "Stella series 5 films new scenes in Cardiff". Wales Online. Retrieved 14 August 2015. 
  6. ^ "Stella - Series 1 [DVD]". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 26 February 2015. 
  7. ^ "Stella - Series 2 [DVD]". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 26 February 2015. 
  8. ^ "Stella - Series 3 [DVD]". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 26 February 2015. 
  9. ^ "Stella - Series 4 + 2014 Christmas Special [DVD]". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 26 February 2015. 

External links[edit]