Rob Brydon is to undertake a live tour across Wales
Comedian and actor Rob Brydon admitted there was "never a better time to be Welsh" as he looked back on the hit series Gavin and Stacey.
Brydon said he believed the key to the BBC3 comedy's success was its warmth and its writing, which he likened to a soap in hooking the viewer.
"It's so beautifully done, the details in there," he told a sell-out audience at the Hay Festival in Powys.
Brydon said the special Christmas episode was "looking very funny".
He paid tribute to the Bafta award-winning writing team of Ruth Jones, a fellow Porthcawl Comprehensive School pupil with Brydon, and James Corden.
"A lot of good comedy writers write good comedy characters - and they'll give you funny, but I think with Ruth and James...there's a story arc over each one and they make you want to come back," said Brydon, who is from Baglan, near Port Talbot.
"They're really strong characters you want to spend time with."
He also said that his character Uncle Bryn - written with him in mind - with his bafflement at the world around him would strike a particular chord in Wales.
"People tell me 'he's over the top,' but that's what a lot of Welsh uncles are like, it's not out of the ordinary," he told the audience at the annual festival in Hay-on-Wye.
"That's the difference between England and Wales - the Welsh love a drama.
"In Gavin and Stacey, Uncle Bryn is told he's going to a party - 'a party? In London - with people I've never met before?'"
He said he was "very proud" of the BBC documentary Rob Brydon's Identity Crisis, back in March, which explored his own - and other's - Welshness.
"I'd lived in London for 20 years and lost touch really," he said.
"It's remarkable what we've produced for such a small country - especially when you look at the arts.
"Now in November I'm back with a stand-up tour of Wales that comes directly from the documentary."
Gavin and Stacey won Bafta TV awards in April
Brydon also dwelt on his failed audition at Rada, his love of musicals at school and the Welsh College of Music and Drama and a career path which took him to Marion and Geoff via work on a shopping channel.
Demonstrating his impressive range of voices, he said he still did voice-over work for adverts because it gave him the financial security to pick and choose his mainstream work.
"I want the next thing to be great - I'm trying to keep the quality threshold up," he said.
But this stage in his career means he can claim friend Ronnie Corbett "had a hand in my wife giving birth".
He related how Corbett drove him at break-neck speed across Wentworth golf course in a buggy so he could make the birth of his son Tom seven weeks ago.
Asked what Anne Robinson might make of it all, after she once called the Welsh "irritating", he said: "There's never been a better time to be Welsh - there's Duffy, Gavin and Stacey, Torchwood, Doctor Who. I'd say that would wipe the smile off her face - but that would require surgery."
Meanwhile, at an event to discuss the Library of Wales Sports Anthology, First Minister Rhodri Morgan said supporting the Welsh rugby and football teams had laid important historical foundations for the Welsh assembly.
Disagreeing with Lloyd George's contention that the "morbid nationalism of football" had been an obstacle to Home Rule for Wales, Mr Morgan countered: "The red jerseys of rugby and football were the essential precursor of devolution in 1999."