GAVIN And Stacey co-creator Ruth Jones has shut down rumours that the British sitcom is returning for a Christmas special.

On Tuesday, reports circulated online claiming the cast was set to film a new episode over the summer with the plan to air it at Christmas, five years on from a dramatic cliffhanger.

Welsh actress Jones, who starred in and co-created the show with James Corden, confirmed it was “sadly a rumour” on RTE Radio 1 on Wednesday.

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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?”

Ms Jones 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 beloved show, revealed that she thinks the rumours were sparked after she was photographed having lunch with Mr Corden a few months back 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’.”

US outlet Deadline reported on Tuesday that the new special was in development/pre-production stages currently and that it will be produced by Steve Coogan’s Baby Cow, Jones’ Tidy Productions and Fulwell 73, which is co-owned by Mr Corden.

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 10 years after the previous instalment.

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

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 the baby.

Reflecting on the cliffhanger, Ms 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 mother Pam and father 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.

Speaking about what the show means to her, Ms Jones 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.”

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The 2019 festive special scored the highest overnight Christmas ratings in 12 years when it aired, attracting an average audience of 11.6 million viewers, making it the biggest festive special since Christmas Day 2008.

By the New Year, it had been viewed by 17.1 million people, making it the biggest scripted programme of the decade at the time.

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

Mr Corden went on to appear in films including Into The Woods and Cats and hosted his own hit chat show in the US, The Late Late Show With James Corden.

Ms Jones later created and starred in the comedy drama Stella, for which she was nominated for a Bafta, and has written three novels.