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15th Jan 2019

Every Gavin & Stacey character ranked from worst to best


Ciara Knight

Pete, have you thought about my bhunas?

It’s been nine unforgivable years since the last episode of Gavin & Stacey aired and time, as expected, has been crawling by.

Sure, we can distract ourselves with meaningless tasks such as working, socialising, taking up hobbies, even falling in love, but life will never really be the same, not until they reboot the show.

Rather than crying because it continues to be over, we must smile because it happened, then create as much content as we possibly can so that the show never truly dies.

With that in mind, I have ranked every Gavin & Stacey character from worst to best. Why? Dunno tbh. Just needed to get it out of my system to be honest.

As always, all decisions are final.

12. Stacey

It’s universally acknowledged that the absolute worst part of Gavin & Stacey is indeed both Gavin and Stacey. They’re vehicles for the show, which is a role they both fill beautifully, but as a person, it needs to be noted that Stacey Shipman (née West) is an absolute melt. She’s the kind of girl that sneezed really loudly for attention at school, she drives a pink Toyota Yaris with eyelashes attached over the headlights, she orders garlic bread for a main course, she’s a melt. Stacey is the very worst character in a show that she doesn’t deserve to have named after her. Remember during the Christmas special when she insisted on opening all of her presents first and making everyone else watch? The. Worst.


11. Gavin

His holy matrimony to Stacey is the most perfect fictional pairing that has ever happened because they are both melts of equal quantities. Gavin is a yes man, he’s the type of guy who waits for someone else to say they’re hungry before getting food somewhere, he says “cheers boys” before his first sip of every drink and he would suck off Liam Gallagher if the opportunity ever arose, but purely in an appreciative way for ‘Definitely Maybe’ and not out of any sexual desire whatsoever. Gavin, teamed with Stacey, is very annoying. He entertains her bullshit, taking up where Gwen left off and tending to her every bullshit need. He will never grow a pair because he does not possess the necessary testosterone requirements. Also his hair is trash.


10. Dave Coaches

Yes, every time he calls Nessa “sugar tits” the spirit of the nation soars with pride, but other than that, what is the point of Dave Coaches? Sure, he facilitates mass transport between Barry and Billericay and takes rollicking good care of Neil (the baby) but what else? He is a pest and I will tell you for why: Dave Coaches knows what happened on that fishing trip. It’s very clear that Jason and Bryn aren’t going to talk about it, but Dave is voluntarily remaining a perfect gentleman and keeping shtum about it as well. He has the power to put us all out of our misery but he won’t do it. Also, he kept Nessa and Smithy apart and although he did the honourable thing in the end by leaving her at the altar, he took his damn well coachy time about it.


9. Pete

Man has no issue in parting ways with £56 for a Christmas turkey but refuses to pick it up himself, landing Mick with the task of ferrying them both home and storing one in the garden shed. Is that the act of a good man? No. Peter ‘Pete’ Sutcliffe is inattentive to the needs of his wife, he has little concern for the wellbeing of his mother and also he’s a very boring man. Pete, were he a real person, would be the guy at work who never speaks but is always staring at you when you look up from your computer, when you come back from the toilet, even when you’re trying to apply for another job on company time, he’s watching. Pete once punched a man to defend the honour of his wife, which was nice, but it still doesn’t make him a good character.


8. Mick

Michael ‘Mick’ Shipman is a good man, nay a great man, but is he the best character on Gavin & Stacey? Unfortunately, not. He’s the straight man, put on television earth to tend to the eccentricities of his wife and by association, daughter-in-law. The hype around his famed television appearance was precious, made all the more satisfying by culminating in an absolute shambles of a split-second appearance teamed with zero respect for the dismembered body involved. Mick would be a brilliant mayor of a very small town whose largest problems include developing policies to demand slightly smaller trollies be available in the local supermarket and erecting a plaque to commemorate the one time Cliff Richard used a petrol station toilet there in 1982.


7. Gwen

Everyone’s favourite omelette enthusiast is an understated force in Gavin & Stacey, who encapsulates a staggeringly accurate representation of what it is to be a mother who struggles to find purpose in life once her children grow old enough to pay taxes. Her solution to everything good, bad or indifferent is to make an omelette and if every one of us adapted that same attitude towards life, the world would be a better, albeit more gaseous place. Gwen is a pure soul whose happy-go-lucky disposition is a beacon of light in the Gavin & Stacey universe. Does Stacey, the insufferable melt, deserve such a dote of a mother? No. She deserves Betty Draper at best, maybe even Lucille Bluth.


6. Doris

The fact of the matter is that every consumed episode of Gavin & Stacey causes you to look at your own family and grimace in disgust at their shortcomings as people. They will never compare to the Shipmen and Wests, not in this lifetime. Then Doris comes along and obliterates the quality of your neighbours as well. Sure, they sometimes mow the grass beyond the halfway point, crossing the dividing line to give your garden a quick tidy up, even hang onto a spare key for when you inevitably leave yours in the back of a taxi at 4am, but do they smoke pot, drink during the day, have a slew of younger loves and regularly flirt with married men all while being a seemingly sweet and elderly lady? No, they bloody well don’t, statistically anyway.


5. Dawn

“Oh my Pete”. The highest compliment that can be paid to a TV character is bestowed upon Dawn Sutcliffe, whereby I am comfortably going to share my feelings that we simply don’t see enough of her in the show. The tumultuous relationship between her and Pete is a joy to watch unfold as their marriage appears to eternally be in tatters, particularly when they’re caught trying to introduce a third person into the equation during a civilised pre-threesome meal in the local Italian restaurant. Only Dawn could call her own husband a “vicious little pig” in one episode, then renew her wedding vows to him after a quick outburst at how repulsive his choice of eternity ring is in the next.


4. Smithy

Unfortunately landed with the unenviable task of having to be Gavin’s best friend, Smithy does very well to be as upbeat and humorous as he is given the daily dose of bullshit he has to listen to. As a viewer, when Smithy’s on form, you’re on form. When Smithy’s having a tough time of it, you’re still intelligent enough to remain emotionally disconnected from a fictional television programme, but you feel for the guy. He’s the kind of best friend everyone needs but rarely finds. His love for Nessa is blatant from the start, and their journey to unite is nothing if not uncomfortably entertaining to watch unfold. Gavin & Stacey would be shit without Smithy, although to be fair, ‘Smithy & Nessa’ doesn’t quite have the same ring to it.


3. Pam

*extremely Smithy voice* Pamelaaaaaaah. She’s the polar opposite to Gwen, but still provides a very accurate depiction of a mother struggling to remain relevant in her precious (and now grown up) child’s life. Family is her sole focus and it brings out both the best and worst in Pam. I can’t be certain, but I have a gut feeling that someone out there most definitely has a tattoo of the scene where Pam calls the Welsh side of the family ‘Taffs’ after she finds out that Gavin will be moving back to Stacey’s hometown. She’s an icon, she’s a treasure, she’s Essex, she’s an important piece of British televisual history. Pam Shipman’s only shortcoming is that she likes to role play as Camilla Parker Bowles in the bedroom, but I’m willing to overlook it.


2. Nessa

“Oh. What’s occurrin’? Tidy”. A similarly cruel fate to Smithy’s has befallen Vanessa Shanessa ‘Nessa’ Jenkins as she is forced to spend life filling the role of Stacey ‘Absolute Melt’ West’s best friend. But she handles it with grace and dignity, never straying from her ironclad values in life, solidifying her as the world’s original and most cherished Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. Hers and Smithy’s relationship is infinitely more entertaining than Gavin and Stacey’s, taking centre stage from as soon as the foursome meet on that fateful day in London. It has been nine years since the last episode of Gavin & Stacey aired and Nessa still hasn’t got a spinoff show, providing indisputable proof that that God left us a long time ago and she’s never coming back.


1. Bryn

Obviously OBVIOUSLY it was always going to be Bryn in the top spot and I’ll tell you for why: Bryn West has done what very few fictional television characters have managed to do through the ages. Bryn makes you feel a bit sad when you think about him, purely because you have to acknowledge that he doesn’t exist. He’s not a real person. The deliciously warped minds of Ruth Jones and James Corden created him and then Rob Brydon embodied the character, but that’s it. Bryn has been laid to rest, at least until the reboot hopefully happens before we all die. Bryn is the uncle the world needs right now in these trying times, but we can’t have him. All we can do is watch Gavin & Stacey repeats, write listicles such as these and devote all of our spare time to trying to finally work out what actually happened on that godforsaken fishing trip. Bless you, Bryn West. Bless every fibre of your devastatingly non-existent soul.



Images via BBC