Column in the Glamorgan GEM by Rt Hon Alun Cairns MP:
I must begin with the news that Gavin & Stacey will be returning to Barry this year for a Christmas Special!
Once the news broke that James Corden and Ruth Jones had been working on a return for the show, Barry was absolutely alive with excitement and anticipation. You only had to see the media outlets gathered around Marco’s Café on Barry Island and hear the reaction from the public to get a sense of what it means for Barry. Additionally, the response from traders on the Island, such as Marco Zeraschi of Marco’s Café and Louis Ross of Barrybados, has been exceptionally positive. They recognise that it brings a real feel-good factor.
Aside from being a fantastic comedy, Gavin & Stacey has helped to put our area on the map. It has aided Barry in gaining further recognition across the country and acted as a great advert for what we have to offer locally. Just one small example of the lasting legacy the show is the fact that this year we welcomed runners from Billericay to take part in a special Gavin & Stacey themed parkrun.
It’s also been a huge boost to our regeneration ambitions and we can see how much progress has been made in recent years. The show has played its part in igniting interest in Barry again and the Island has gone from strength to strength. The future looks really positive with further investment planned, including the transformation of the old toilet block at Nell’s Point and the reinstatement of Barry Island Pleasure Park.
With this in mind, I recognise that the power of television is massive, certainly when trying to find ways to promote our area. As MP for the Vale, promoting the regeneration of Barry and attracting investment has been a key priority. This is why I am working with partners on further TV interest in Barry, which I hope will be able to proceed further in the near future.
For now, I know on Christmas Day my family will be gathered around the TV, just like many others across the country, ready for another episode of comedy genius.