Ruth Jones has revealed the lengths she went to in a bid to keep Gavin and Stacey’s return a secret.
She said she took her nine-year-old niece on a reconnaissance trip to Barry, where the show is partly based, to use as a cover story in case she was spotted by fans.
In reality, she was there to speak to the owner of the house used by Stacey’s mother Gwen about using it once again.
The sitcom returns for a Christmas special after a nine-year break.
Jones admitted she felt “ashamed” at using her niece but said it was necessary to keep the show’s return a secret, ahead of filming last July.
“When I’ve been back to Barry sometimes there are people who are taking photos of the outside of the house and, if they see me, they sometimes want to take photos,” she said.
“If they see me on my own, it might start suspicions going.
“So, I took her and had some photos taken outside so I could just say ‘I’m just showing my niece’.”
A section of Trinity Street, which is home to characters Gwen West and Uncle Bryn, was closed for filming last July with other locations also used around the town, attracting fans.
Jones also told her friends she was going on holiday when they asked abut her frequent trips to Los Angeles to write the show with co-writer James Corden.
“The truth was we weren’t lapping up the LA sunshine, we were stuck indoors… not stuck, we were indoors writing,” she said.
Gavin & Stacey stars Mathew Horne and Joanna Page as a young couple who fall in love following a whirlwind romance.
The show features a strong supporting cast, including Rob Brydon’s eccentric Uncle Bryn and Melanie Walters as Stacey’s mum Gwen, among others.