ACTOR and comedian James Cordon has tweeted the exciting news that the iconic sitcom Gavin & Stacey will be returning for a one-off Christmas special.

Writers Jones and Corden revealed they had secretly been plotting to bring the much-loved sitcom back.

"Over the last 10 years we've talked a lot about Gavin and Stacey - where they might be today and what their lives might look like.

"So, in secret, we took the plunge and wrote this one-hour special," they said.

"We've loved revisiting Barry and Essex again, and bringing the characters back together has been a joy.

"We're so excited to get the chance to work with our fabulous cast and crew once more and to give fans of the show a festive treat this Christmas. Thank you BBC for helping to make this happen."

Corden and Jones will return to their roles as Smithy and Nessa, alongside the other supporting cast - Rob Brydon, Larry Lamb, Melanie Walters and Alison Steadman.

Gavin & Stacey aired over three series, plus a Christmas special, from 2007 to 2010 on the BBC.

It told the story of Gavin (Horne), from Essex, and Stacey (Page), from Barry, in South Wales, who fell in love and married after speaking on the phone to each other every day at work.

The 2010 New Year's Day finale was watched by more than 10.2 million viewers.

Director of BBC content, C harlotte Mooresaid: "Everyone at the BBC is hugely excited to be welcoming back Gavin and Stacey to BBC One this Christmas.

"We can't wait to see what's happened to everyone over the last nine years and what's next for one of the nation's favourite comedy families."

Barry Island café owner, Marco Zeraschi – whose premises features in the series, said: “If they come back here, it is the best thing to happen to Barry Island.

"It will put us back on the map.

“And it will be even better for Barry.

"It's fantastic news.”

Louis Ross, Barry Island trader and co-founder of the Barrybados brand, said: “I’m well and truly excited by the announcement.

“It’s great for Barry island.

“We still get visitors now coming to the see the sights and this will re-ignite the series and the fan base.

“The council and traders have invested heavily into Barry Island and this will only add to peoples experience when they visit Barry Island.”