, Ruth Jones in character as Nessa
Gavin and Stacey character
2007 - 2010
13 May 2007
Kiosk attendant, Living statue, Psychic, Truck driver, Father Christmas impersonator, Singer
Barry Island, Wales
Neil Jenkins (Ifan Huw Dafydd)
Neil Smith Jr
Vanessa Shanessa "Nessa" Jenkins, is a fictional character in the BBC comedy-drama Gavin & Stacey. The character was portrayed by Welsh actress and comedian Ruth Jones who has also appeared in Little Britain.
2 Gavin and Stacey,
3 Channel 4's Comedy Gala,
Vanessa Shanessa Jenkins (often referred to as 'Nessa') was born and grew up in Barry Island, South Wales. Her age and date of birth are unknown and it is claimed that Vanessa herself is unsure of her exact age.
She has no known mother but her father, Neil Jenkins, left Barry Island for unknown circumstances and is now a part-time actor and has appeared as an extra in Lark Rise to Candleford and as a man in a coma in Holby City. She has a very close relationship with her best friend, Stacey and her family, it is revealed in the final episode of the third series that Vanessa considers Gwen, Stacey's mother, as her second mother.
She has been romantically linked with a number of celebrities such as Richard Madeley, John Prescott, Russell Brand, Tom Jones, all eight members of the band Goldie Lookin Chain, Om Puri, Eddie Stobart, Nigel Havers, Mohamed Al-Fayed, John Bishop and two of Gladys Knight's Pips. Vanessa's other romantic interests include coach driver, David Lloyd Gooch (popularly known as 'Dave Coaches'); sailor, Paulo and Neil 'Smithy' Smith (father of their child, Neil).
She has worked as far as Mumbai, Peru, Namibia and Egypt as well as holding down a vast array of jobs including clairvoyant, Father Christmas, a living statue, a Truck driver for Eddie Stobart (she also carried the sets on The Who's World Tours prior to this), a singer in the original line-up of All Saints (but didn't get along with Shaznay), a researcher for BBC News, a football coach at Coventry City F.C., a nightclub bouncer in Cardiff, a sales assistant at Second Hand City and in the kiosk of Barry Island Amusement Arcade.
She speaks fluent English, Italian and Welsh and is an Aston Villa supporter.
Vanessa is mother to Neil Smith, whom she gave birth to in the final episode of the second series. Neil is fathered by 'Smithy' and his name was chosen with regard to two family traditions; naming the baby after the child's father ('Smithy's' family tradition) and grandfather (Vanessa's family tradition).
Gavin and Stacey:
Nessa is Stacey West's best friend, also from Barry Island in the Vale of Glamorgan in Wales. Nessa works in Barry Island Amusement Arcade, affectionately called 'The Slots' as a supervisor in the kiosk. Nessa's catchphrase ("What's Occurin'?") has become widely known and recognized along with her other catchphrases such as ("Oh!", "Tidy", "Genuine", "Truth be told" and "I won't lie to you"). When Stacey and Gavin meet up for the first time in Leicester Square, Nessa and Gavin's friend Smithy sleep together, beginning a series of trysts and causing Nessa to become pregnant in early Season One, with Smithy later revealed to be the father.
Whilst Stacey lived in Billericay with Gavin, Nessa moved into Stacey's old bedroom in Gwen's home whilst pregnant so Gwen could take care of her. Nessa is rushed into labour a month early and gives birth to a baby boy which Nessa and Smithy both decide to call Neil after arguing over the choice of name (Nessa wanted to name the baby after her father, Smithy after himself. Coincidentally, both Nessa's father and Smithy are called Neil). During the 2008 Christmas Special, Dave Coaches, with who Nessa has enjoyed toe sucking, asks her to marry him to which she accepts much to the annoyance of Smithy. Smithy decides not to attend Nessa's wedding, only to later regret this and to walk in just before Nessa takes her vows and tells her she should not marry Dave if all she wants is a father for Neil as he would be there for her. Although Nessa disagrees and wishes for the wedding to continue, Dave tells Nessa that he knew she never fully loved him and the pair shake hands and Dave leaves.
The episode cuts to six months later, where we see Nessa, Smithy, Gavin and Stacey happily living in Barry joking about whether Smithy might be Welsh.
Channel 4's Comedy Gala:
Nessa and Smithy (Ruth Jones and James Corden) appeared at Channel 4's Comedy Gala for Great Ormond Street Hospital, held at The O2 where they pretended to be lost in London with baby Neil.