The British comedy-drama “Stella” has returned to Australian TV with a forth season 4 on UKTV.
“Stella” stars BAFTA winning actress Ruth Jones, who is probably best known to Australian audiences as Myfanwy on Little Britain and as Nessa on “Gavin and Stacey”.
The show is set in the fictional town of Pontyberry in the valleys of South Wales, with the humour drawing heavily on life in a Welsh village.
Stella is a 40-something mum, who experiences the ups and downs that life throws at her. She’s a character that is clearly very dear to the heart of her creator, Jones:
“The joy of her as a character is that she’s quite real. I’ve never professed to be something that I’m not and Stella is very much like that too. I think because she’s a pretty genuine person that’s why people are attracted to her as a friend or whatever”.
“I think it’s that ‘down to earth-ness, the loyalty and she doesn’t take herself too seriously. There’s something very nice about someone who admits their fallibility and she wouldn’t try to pretend that she’s not the age she is or have any false ideas about herself”.
Season 4 of Stella has aired in the UK and Jones is currently in the process of storyboarding and writing series five. But she’s quick to point out that the Stella storylines are not drawn from real life, although people do see a lot that is familiar.
“Stella’s been married, she’s had kids of her own, she’s a grandmother and a step-grandmother. She goes on quite a journey with her love life in this series. It’s a pretty universal experience and shows it can happen to anyone at any time of their life”.
“It’s kind of like finding the extraordinary in the ordinary. The sense of community, the family and friends. And I think it’s a silly distraction from what you see on the news. Everybody likes each other on the show, there are no actual ‘baddies’ and it’s just a bit daft and I think that’s what people probably relate to”.
There’s something refreshing about watching a show that doesn’t feature airbrushed bimbos on anything-but-reality TV. It’s equally refreshing watching a show that taps into easily recognisable situations and not have to hit you with the “comedy stick’.
While Jones and her co-creator David Peet aren’t looking beyond season 5, they’re happy to keep writing Stella for as long as we’re happy to enter her world.
With a little luck, we’ll be visiting Pontyberry, South Wales for a long time to come.
Season 4 of Stella is currently airing 9:30pm Wednesday's on UKTV.
UKTV is available in Australia via Foxtel and FetchTV