Just having a laugh

The Northern Echo: MUM’S THE WORD: Alison Steadman in Gavin and Stacey MUM’S THE WORD: Alison Steadman in Gavin and Stacey

Gavin And Stacey (BBC1, 9pm); Wonderland: The Trouble with Mother (BBC2, 9.50pm); River Cottage (C4, 8pm)

ASK Joanna Page about funny stories from filming the latest – and final – series of Gavin And Stacey and she’ll recall a scene in which co-star Ruth Jones was wearing a funny costume.

“I couldn’t stop laughing,” she recalls.

“We became hysterical in rehearsal and I nearly started crying. I was told off by the producer and director, and told to pull myself together, otherwise nobody would get any dinner. Which just made things worse.”

The laughter didn’t stop there. “There was also a scene where we’re all eating. I didn’t have any lines, but Ruth did and couldn’t get her words out without spitting out her food,” says Page.

“So I nearly spoilt the shot by giggling uncontrollably when I didn’t even have anything to say. And I lost all control of myself watching Rob Brydon while filming episode one. There’s a point in the episode where I couldn’t contain myself because Rob was making us all laugh so much.”

Co-writer and star Ruth Jones tells of a scene where Pam (Alison Steadman) and Dawn (Julia Davis) are having a conversation about a DVD. Pete (Adrian Scarborough) is also in the scene.

“Alison, Adrian and Julia just couldn’t get through it without laughing,” says Jones. “In the end, Chris Gernon, our director, had to send everyone off for a tea break, and even after that they were still laughing.

“They got there in the end, but it was a real struggle. The outtakes will be on the DVD extras.”

Alison Steadman, who plays possessive mum Pam, had a laugh after finishing filming.

“I had a day off before the wrap party, so I stayed in Wales and did some sightseeing,”

she says. “In the middle of the day I got a photo text from Chris Gernon, who’d fallen over in the mud while filming and had to change into Pammy’s black jeans for the rest of the day.”

In tonight’s second episode of the award-winning comedy by James Corden and Ruth Jones, Stacey (Joanna Page) is looking for a new job while making sure Gavin (Mathew Horne) sticks to his recent promise.

FAMILIES can be a funny thing sometimes, but tonight’s Wonderland, The Trouble With Mother, reveals the testing time that they face as parents get older.

Frederick is a robot-repair expert and speaks seven languages fluently.

His mother, Pauline, is an 80-year-old former concert pianist. The programme focuses on their family history as Frederick deals with the problem of her getting older.

However, Pauline is not like most mothers.

Her south London home is packed to the rafters with clutter collected over the years. So much clutter in fact that some of the rooms are inaccessible.

Frederick invites Bafta Award-winning film-maker Daniel Vernon into the family home as he prepares to clear out the house. As the pair enter the property, Frederick warns: “You are about to enter another dimension.”

THE latest series of River Cottage ends tonight after Hugh Fearnley- Whittingstall has spent the past few weeks telling us it’s time to stock the larder and enjoy everything the seasons have in store.

Instead of giving shop-bought boxes of chocolate goodies this Christmas, he decides to make his own, conjuring up a tray of lip-smacking chocolate brownies that take ten minutes to prepare and two minutes to wrap.

His slaughtered steer has now been hanging for a month. Butcher Ray Smith joins him to set to work extracting cuts for a party the TV chef is throwing. The pair can’t resist making beefy canapes of biltong and pastrami.

Fearnley-Whittingstall’s valiant efforts to get wild rabbits back onto the British menu continue. Armed with deep-fried rabbit legs, a mayonnaise dip and hot rabbit buns he heads to an Exeter nightclub

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