What happened to Gavin and Stacey’s original babies that were ‘Neil the baby’


There was something poetic in the return of Gavin and Stacey this Christmas also saw one of original ‘Neil the baby’ castings coming back to play the role again.

This time the the story had moved on 10 years but Oscar Hartland was back to be ‘Neil the baby’ again, the child of James Corden’s Smithy and Ruth Jones’ Nessa.

It was not a role that Oscar thought he would get to play again but he auditioned and beat trained actors to land himself in the cast.

Oscar told Good Morning Britain: “I didn’t really get my hopes up as there were other people who did acting. I was in a couple of newspapers and they noticed me.

“I did my audition in Cardiff. A few weeks later I found out I got the job. It was really cool.

Melanie Walters and Oscar on set during the original series
(Image: Kirsty Pritchard-Hartland)

“I thought I was getting a different part but I actually got Neil. I was really excited about filming.”

He was not the only one to play Baby Neil in the original series though, with three others having the role on their acting CV, though they probably don’t remember a second of the process.

Oscar with James Corden in the Gavin and Stacey Christmas Special 2019

Here’s what happened to the other ‘Neil the baby’ babies;

Lewis Marchant

Lewis was baby Neil in the first Christmas special in 2008, with this being the first time that the character was a big part of the show.

Nessa had finished the end of series two giving birth to Neil and Lewis had a big slice of screen time.

Lewis is now a big Swansea City fan
(Image: Emily Merchant)

Recalling how he landed the role, his mother Emily Merchant, told Wales Online that it was through a TV agent friend that the opportunity arose.

Emily, 35, from Swansea said: “I was a bit hesitant at first but Gavin & Stacey was big so I just went for it.”

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In a scene from the show, Smithy and Dave from Dave’s Coaches had an argument about whether baby Neil would grow up being a fan of Cardiff City or West Ham United.

Lewis with James Corden during the filming of the Christmas special 2008

In a twist though, in real life Emily had put Lewis in a Swansea City babygro though she claims it was not meant to be a dig at football rivals Cardiff.

Speaking about the filming, Emily only has praise for the actors and crew.

She continued: “It was absolutely brilliant and they were all lovely,” she said.

Lewis still has the West Ham shirt from the show
(Image: www.adrianwhitephotography.co.uk)

“We spent a lot of time with Steffan Rhodri, who plays Dave Coaches and he was lovely with Lewis.

“James Cordon was quite broody at the time so he was quite cwtchy as well.”

Lewis is now 11-year-old and still supporting Swansea City as well as continuing to enjoy drama.

Ewan Kennedy

Ewan Kennedy was also from the Swansea area and was involved during the third series of the BBC sitcom.

His mum Petra Kennedy, 41, said that Ewan was a “cute baby” and when she heard they were looking for newborns for filming, decided to spend her maternity leave in the summer of 2009 on the set of the show.

Petra said: “At the time I was off on maternity leave and my friend had her children in a stage school and she said they were looking for babies.

Rob Brydon and Ewan outside the famous Barry house
(Image: Petra Kennedy)

“She said Ewan was a cute baby so I sent in some photos.

“I heard he had been picked and then they said it was for the new Gavin & Stacey series so I said ‘tidy’.”

Petra recalls it being a happy set to be on. She said: “We took him to the filming and everyone was so lovely.

Ewan is now keen on rugby
(Image: Petra Kennedy)

“That was what made it so special, that they were all nice.”

Now 10 years old, Ewan is enjoying rugby and spending time with the family dogs.

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