Ruth Jones - Biography
Famous for: Co-writing and starring in multi-award winning series Gavin and Stacey
Birthplace: Bridgend, Wales
Ruth Jones' Early Life
Born in Bridgend in south Wales, Ruth grew up in the nearby coastal town of Porthcawl.
From a comfortable background, Ruth’s mother was a GP and her father was a lawyer. She also has three siblings, and in school she loved to participate in yearly musical theatre productions, which fostered her passion for acting at a young age. Upon graduation from the University of Warwick, she attended the Royal College of Music and Drama in Cardiff, where she received formal training.
Ruth Jones' Early Career
After her first tour in November 1989, Ruth was plagued by a lack of work, eventually having to settle for a temporary clerical assistant position working in Kensington to fund her passion. At a time when she thought all was lost, in 1990 comedian producer Stan Stennett offered her a part in Dick Whittington at the Porthcawl Pavilion, a venue reminiscent of her childhood musical performances.Television roles, Gavin and Stacey and other acting gigs were on the horizon for the talented Welsh actress.
Ruth Jones' Career
With a degree in drama under her belt and now some experience in the industry, the bubbly brunette got a job at BBC Wales working in both TV and radio comedy before branching out into theatre. She made her silver screen debut in British comedy East Is East in 1999, then appeared in popular ITV series Fat Friends, alongside her future comedy partner James Corden. She also assumed roles in black comedy Nighty Night in 2004, as well as that of pub landlady Myfanwy in smash TV show Little Britain.
After being cast as Steve Coogan's wife in sitcom Saxondale, she hooked up with James to write and star in the BAFTA-winning Gavin and Stacey, which also stars her old school friend, comedian Rob Brydon. In 2008, the talented Welsh performer turned her hand to costume dramas, with roles in BBC adaptations of Tess Of The D'Urbervilles and Little Dorrit.
Gavin and Stacey
Her career as an actress took off considerably in 2008 when she wrote BBC Three hit sitcom Gavin and Stacey with creative partner James Corden. Of the hit show, she said, “It wasn't as deliberate as us saying, 'Right, we're going to react against cynical comedy'. We just wrote what we wanted. And it just so happens that the show does generate a lot of warmth.” The show fast picked up vast amounts of traction and was moved to BBC One, cementing the show as a household name.
When Ruth birthed the character of Nessa, whom she plays, she unwittingly realised that she is a Jenkins too, after consulting her Welsh family tree that led to a shocking but beautiful discovery. Her great-great grandfather was part of the Jenkins family, to which she said “I can just imagine she [Nessa] would have got on very well with Evan my great great great grandfather, and David my great great grandfather.”
Another of her grandfathers, Henry Jones, is the man who put pressure on Aneurin Bevan, the “father of the NHS”, to formulate it.
Ruth married partner David Peet in 1999 and also shares three step children with him. She created and wrote the series Stella with her husband, which was funded by their own production company Tiny Productions. The show aired from 2012 to 2017, as well as seeing Ruth take on the lead role. The successful Welsh series saw guest appearances including James Corden, Craig Bellamy and Tim Rhys-Jones, and it led to her winning the BAFTA Cymru award for Best Screenwriter. She was later awarded an MBE in 2014 for her services to entertainment.
Ruth Jones' Writing Career
The talented writer gave a stab at novel writing when she wrote Never Greener, which was published in April 2018. After amassing a furiously positive reception, she signed a two book deal and the novel went onto The Sunday Times Bestsellers at number seven, preceding her number one spot for two weeks straight shortly after. Her second novel, Us Three, was published in September 2020 which performed incredibly and saw sales skyrocket given it’s poignant and uplifting storyline.
Ruth Jones' Awards and Accolades
Her acting career continues to be kissed by constant awards, such as a British Comedy Award, Cosmopolitan Ultimate Women of the Year Award, BAFTA and three BAFTA Cymru awards.
Ruth Jones' Private Life
Ruth lives in Cardiff with her husband David and her three stepchildren.