Sky 1 HD starts the New Year off with a trip to the Welsh Valleys as ‘Stella’ becomes the latest offering of original British comedy. The brainchild of Ruth Jones, co-writer and co-star of Gavin and Stacey, ‘Stella’ is a ten-episode warm, funny, down-to-earth family saga which promises an authentic slice of the working-class Welsh Valleys.
Stella (Ruth Jones) 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 (Craig Gallivan), a lovely boy who starts the series in prison; beautiful 16-year-old Emma (Catrin Stewart) who’s smitten with her first love Sunil (Rory Girvan); and the brains of the family, 12-year-old Ben (Justin Davies).
Then there’s Stella’s best friend Paula (Elizabeth Berrington), a functioning alcoholic funeral director. Stella’s not-too-bright ex-husband Karl (Julian Lewis Jones) who’s now seeing 28-year-old Nadine (Karen Paullada); not forgetting lollipop man and youth rugby coach Alan (Steve Speirs), an old school friend of Stella’s who’s been in love with her since 1984. Finally there’s Stella’s brother Dai (Owen Teale) 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.
In this first episode, Stellais fed up with her appearance. Attempting to glam herself up, she has a bit of fun in daughter Emma’s bedroom, trying on her clothes and playing with make-up. But the fun comes to an abrupt halt when she makes a startling discovery.
Meanwhile, it’s the day of Ben’s school play and Stella’s forgotten to make his costume. Luckily, Paula’s there to help. However, her inspiration for a corn sheath comes from an unconventional source and causes a ruckus in the middle of the performance.
After such a bad day, Stella agrees to a drunken night out with Alan, Paula and Dai in a bid cheer herself up. But things only get worse when she returns home to a bombshell from Emma…