Page last updated at 07:28 GMT, Thursday, 26 November 2009

What's occurrin' in this house?

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Glenda Keynon is the real life inhabitant of Stacey's house in sitcom Gavin and Stacey

By Kevin Leonard
BBC News

When Glenda Kenyon allowed the producers of an unknown comedy programme to film in her house, she could not have guessed the effect it would have on her life.

It would be only a matter of time before hundreds of fans of the BBC comedy Gavin and Stacey made their way to the terraced, red brick house on a sloping street in Barry to see for themselves one of the key venues in the show.

Stacey's omelette-making mother Gwen resides there, as did Stacey herself before her marriage to Gavin.

But not for much longer, because the show's final series starts on Thursday night on BBC One.

The house's permanent resident, 55-year-old Ms Kenyon, said it was now so famous that she kept a guest book for the numerous visitors who pop in.

Among the 294 people to sign the book are fans who have travelled from around the world.

Remarkably, there are people from as far afield as Australia and New Zealand, and a surprising number from the south Wales seaside town of Barry itself.

And they would all have had a warm welcome from Ms Kenyon, who is delighted to have a chat about what's occurrin' - as Nessa, Stacey's best friend, famously puts it - in Barry.

Glenda Kenyon
I ask them if they want to come in and take photos and they say 'yeah, yeah, yeah'!
Glenda Kenyon

"I love people coming round. I've also had more than 100 people who want to take photos of the house outside but didn't want to come in," she said.

"They're scared to knock on the door. I run out there and ask them if they're Gavin and Stacey fans.

"I ask them if they want to come in and take photos and they say 'yeah, yeah, yeah!'"

Ms Kenyon, has lived in the house for almost 30 years.

Her house was chosen after programme producers contacted everybody in the street about their search for venues for a new comedy series.

She initially thought it was a "wind-up" but her house soon became a place that will forever be known as Stacey's family home.

Many a heart-to-heart conversation between mother and daughter in the front room has ended with Gwen's regular query - "Would you like an omelette, love?"

Ms Kenyon, who says she hates eggs, has not met her house's other residents because she is put up in a hotel while filming takes place.

Cast of Gavin and Stacey
Gavin and Stacey has a cult TV following and recently won two Baftas

However, this summer she did meet the brains behind the series, Ruth Jones and James Corden - who also star as Nessa and Smithy - and was presented with a bouquet.

There are also other benefits to having your house featured in such a high-profile show.

"They've done so much work here. They've laid all the slabs in the back garden and they've painted and decorated, and put up net curtains," she said.

Modest beginnings

"If there's any damage, they've always got someone there to replace the damage they've done."

From modest beginnings on BBC Three, the award-winning show now attracts an audience of millions in a prime slot.

But Jones and Corden insist this is the third and final series.

Nobody is more disappointed to see the show coming to an end than Ms Kenyon, who is desperately trying to persuade the show's producers Baby Cow Productions to film another series.

"I never thought it would be so popular. A lot of people are disappointed it's going to stop - not only me, but also the people who come in to the house," said Ms Kenyon.

The final series of Gavin and Stacey starts on Thursday on BBC One at 2100 GMT.



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