People Are Just Realising Today That The Surnames In Gavin And Stacey Are Not What They Seem…

And it's all a bit grim, isn't it?

Peter Sutcliffe Gavin and Stacey

by Rhiannon Evans |
Updated on

Big day for people who like to Tweet using the phrase 'I was today years old', as many people are realising the surnames of characters in Gavin And Stacey are named after notorious serial killers.

And if, in your 2020 goggles, you're not now looking at that thinking, 'Yeah, that's not good is it?' there's worse. People seem to be discovering it thanks to some jokes around the death of Peter Sutcliffe.

Yes, as news broke that Peter Sutcliffe had died today, lots of people took the initiative to reply to news tweets with pictures of the character from Gavin and Stacey, also called Peter Sutcliffe and played by Adrian Scarborough.

They're not alone in making jokes. 'Peter Sutcliffe jokes' is one of the top-trending Google searches in the UK today, which is unbelievably grim.

But the 'jokes' made the penny drop for a lot of people...

...that not only was Dawn's husband Pete actually named after the murderer, Peter Sutcliffe, but that in fact, all the surnames in Gavin and Stacey were based on murderers.

Yes, there's Gavin, Pam and Mick Shipman, named after the murderer Harold Shipman who is believed to have killed more than 200 of his patients.

And Stacey's surname is West, like Fred and Rose West, who murdered at least 12 people.

It's now been 13 years since Gavin and Stacey started in 2007, so it's easy to look at things in hindsight and wonder if that was funny then - or if it was kind of gross then too.

If nothing else, the flurry of tweets and 'jokes' today shows that decisions like that, do have real world affects even a decade on, that hopefully we might be more considerate of if we were sat in a writer's room these days.

It's not the first time the characters' surnames have been a topic of discussion - around the release of the Gavin and Stacey special last Christmas, the realisation dawned on a load of other social media users.

That Christmas special caused controversy when the characters sang the lyrics to Fairytale Of New York, including a homophobic slur, and users complained to Ofcom.

Defending the decision, co-writer and star Ruth Jones said: 'It is a different climate. But we have to remain true to the characters, to who they were.' she told The Sun.

'Characters in Gavin & Stacey are kind and big-hearted, I believe. So I think no one is going to be intentionally hurtful. But by the same token, they’re not necessarily going to be completely politically correct or be aware of political correctness.'

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