Page last updated at 15:20 GMT, Thursday, 2 October 2008 16:20 UK

Home town visit for Stacey writer

Ruth Jones at Barry Library
Ruth Jones said libraries have always been important in her life

When Gavin and Stacey star Ruth Jones is in Barry she can usually be found dressed in leather in the amusement arcade playing her character Nessa.

But the actress took on a rather different role when she visited the south Wales town made famous by the BBC comedy show.

Launching Happy Days, a campaign urging people to use libraries, she spoke of how books inspired her to write.

She said libraries had helped her get through periods of unemployment.

"I think because I started going to the library from a very young age - my mum and dad always encouraged us to use the library - it engendered in me a love of literature certainly which then, I guess, got me thinking creatively," said Ms Jones, who co-created and co-writes the award-winning comedy series.

When I started out as a struggling actor, it was quite gloomy and depressing. But the library kept my creativity going

Ruth Jones

"And that eventually led to me wanting to write and create characters, so I think it was hugely influential."

Ms Jones, who is launching her own show, Ruth Jones's Sunday Brunch, on BBC Radio Wales on Sunday 5 October, spoke to an audience at the campaign's launch in Barry Library.

She said libraries have always played a big part of her life, ever since her mother and grandmother took her to the local library in Porthcawl, near Bridgend, where she grew up.

She would use the library for school and university projects and to research roles, including when she worked for the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) in London.

Even as she tried to find work after graduating from drama college, she found help at the library, she said.

"When I started out as a struggling actor, it was quite gloomy and depressing. But the library kept my creativity going," she said.

Nessa as a statue
Gavin and Stacey's Nessa playing a human statue outside Barry library.

Ms Jones will soon be back in Barry with rest of the Gavin and Stacey cast to film the Christmas special.

"I'm really excited. I've been keeping in touch with the cast and it will be really good to see everyone again," said the actress.

She had previously used the library as a dressing room for an episode of Gavin and Stacey where Nessa was dressed as a human statue in the town.

But she said Olympic swimmer David Davies, who is from Barry, did not have a cameo role in the episode - despite him 'auditioning' for her on Radio Five Live after winning a silver medal in Beijing.

"I think that was just a joke," she said. "There are no cameo roles in it. It's just all the usual lot."

The entertainer also spoke of her "amazement" that Gavin and Stacey is gaining fans across the world.

It is due to be screened in the US soon and Ms Jones said she believed it would also be shown in Australia.

"And a friend of mine who lives in India said she had just seen episode one," she said.

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