For 'Gavin & Stacey' fans, the prospect of a reunion was increasingly unlikely, given James Corden's success in the States.

However, the talk show host has revealed that the sitcom, which followed the long-distance relationship between Englishman Gavin (Matthew Horne) and Welsh woman Stacey (Joanna Page) is to return for a Christmas special this year.

Corden, who both co-wrote and co-stars in the show with Ruth Jones, revealed the news on Twitter this morning.

"Ruth Jones and I have been keeping this secret for a while… We’re excited to share it with you," he said. "See you on Christmas Day."

A statement from the pair read:

"Over the last ten years we’ve talked a lot about Gavin and Stacey – where they might be today and what their lives might look like. And so in secret we took the plunge and wrote this one hour special. ‘We’ve loved revisiting Barry and Essex again and bringing the characters back together has been a joy.

"We’re so excited to get the chance to work with our fabulous cast and crew once more and to give fans of the show a festive treat this Christmas. Thank you BBC for helping to make this happen."

An American remake of the show, titled 'Us and Them' was cancelled before it aired four years ago, but now fans can look forward to picking up the pair's story, over nine years on.

Further details on the return of the BBC sitcom - which ran for three series and a Christmas special from 2007 until New Year's Day 2010 - have not yet been revealed, but watch this space.