Interview: Ruth Jones on 'Stella'

The writer-star of the Sky1 comedy on sex scenes, Russell Grant and beans on toast

Ruth Jones and her on-screen family in 'Stella' Ruth Jones and her on-screen family in 'Stella'

Filming in Wales

‘Stella belongs in the Rhondda Valley, its just the right place for it. But it’s near where we live, which helps, especially on a six-month shoot – sometimes you just want beans on toast for tea!’

Writing the second series

‘The characters were bedded in so there was a confidence in writing for them. i knew what each character could do and what the actor could bring to it. We’d created this world and it was about where we could go with it. Series one was Stella-centric. This time we wanted to explore the other characters more and bring in new ones.’

The future for Paula and Dai

‘They go on a real journey with their marriage. Everybody enjoyed their shenanigans, the Bedroom Olympics and all that, but we wanted to go a bit deeper into their relationship. Dai is working at the funeral parlour, which we thought would have great comic potential but could lead to a more serious problem in their relationship. There’s a real pendulum swing between who has the upper hand.’

Writing sex scenes

‘We thought lots of sex was the way forward. You find yourself writing things like, “Carl is gunning it from behind” as a stage direction, which is good fun.’

Guest stars

‘Paul Kaye's character is a New Age therapist and quite a gentle soul. He’s Dutch – his accent is hilarious. We’ve also got the rugby player Scott Quinnell, Russell Grant and Ashley Banjo. Ashley’s there for a “Got to Dance” audition, and Russell turns up for the grand opening of Nadine and Carl’s tanning salon. There’s no Neil Kinnock this year, sadly…’

‘Stella’ series two begins on Friday Jan 11 at 9pm on Sky1.