Vanessa Shanessa Jenkins

Gavin stacey nessa

Nessa, Ness
Unknown, probably in her 40s
Neil Jenkins (father)
Shanessa (mother, estranged)
Neil Smith Jr (son)
Tom Jones
Noel Sullivan
John Prescott
Unnamed first husband
Clive (second husband, deceased)
Dave (ex-fiance)
Barry Island, South Wales
Best Friend
Other Friends
Portrayed by
Ruth Jones
First appearance
Series 1, Episode 1
Last appearance
Series 3, Episode 6

Vanessa "Nessa" Shanessa Jenkins is Stacey's best friend also from Barry. She works in the arcade on Barry Island, a job which she despises in Barry Island's current state. She's worked in places as far flung as Peru, Namibia and Egypt. She is a constant source of surprise in the show; for example, she used to be a truck driver for Eddie Stobart and was once the nanny for Richard and Judy. Despite her engagement to Dave in Series 3, she doesn't go through with the ceremony and agrees to raise her son Neil with the father, Smithy.

Background Edit

She speaks fluent Italian and some Welsh, has several tattoos, is a chain smoker (until her pregnancy) and was one of the original members of All Saints (but didn't get along with Shaznay). She works at the Barry Island Amusement Arcades or "The Slots". Nessa regularly recalls strange and often lewd experiences with celebrities (John Prescott is mentioned several times, as is Dodi Al-Fayed), and to a lesser extent she talks about various life experiences she has had such as travelling the world on a cruise ship, briefly waking up after her first marriage with an unspecified Pip (of Gladys Knight fame) and dealing with the death of her second husband, Clive, (who was executed by firing squad for drug running after she gave evidence against him). She apparently once accepted a marriage proposal from an Englishman who later died while trying to fake his own death. It is revealed in Series 1 that she enjoys BDSM; she is seen buying a dominatrix style outfit at a wedding fair, claiming "I don't need another whip".

Nessa's age is unknown, though in the Gavin & Stacey book, it is mentioned that she worked as driver for Gladys Knight and the Pips in 1979, which suggests she must be well into her 40s at the start of the series.

Personality Edit

Nessa is shown to be a generally carefree person, approaching sensitive issues with a practical, no-nonsense attitude. She's stoical and grimly accepting of life, but she's also loyal and protective of those she loves - especially Stacey, Bryn and Gwen. Blunt and to-the-point, Nessa answers any questions in complete honesty. Her catch phrases include "oh", "tidy', "genuine", "truth be told", "immense", "I'm not going to lie to you" and "what's occurring?". She invests in stocks and shares, enjoys knitting, collects flags, and is is an exceptionally talented ten-pin bowler.

Series One Edit

In the first episode, she and Smithy spend the night together in Gavin and Stacey's hotel room bathroom, to which she performs a sex act that Smithy is horrified by. After another sexual encounter with Smithy, she discovers she is pregnant towards the end of the series and it is revealed that Smithy is the father.

Series Two Edit

She gives birth to Neil in the last episode of Series 2. Nessa became engaged to Dave Coaches, her boyfriend, in the 2008 Christmas Special.

Series Three Edit

In the series finale, Smithy declares his feelings for Nessa at her wedding, and Dave accepts that the feelings he and Nessa share are not as strong as hers and Smithy's. Nessa's age is unknown throughout the show even to Stacey. To date she has slept with Gavin's best friend Smithy 4 times. In the third series, it was discovered that she is an Aston Villa fan. At the end of the last episode it is ambiguous whether or not she is in a relationship with Smithy, but it is made clear that they have a romantic connection and they are both raising Neil together.

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