Gavin and Stacey has been hit with more backlash, but this time critics are concerned viewers casually will turn to cannabis because Mick (played by Larry Lamb) and Pam (Alison Steadman) smoked a spliff with pals Dawn (Julia Davis) and Pete (Adrian Scarborough).
During the Christmas Special – which celebrated homophobic slur f****t for reasons which are yet to be made clear by the BBC or creators James Corden and Ruth Jones – Dawn broke up with Pete for the millionth time because, in her words, he was a ‘junkie’. Turns out she found a joint in his car and lost it with her husband until Pam and Mick assured they used to chase the dragon on the daily before Gavin was born. Moments later said spliff was ablaze and the foursome had a whale of a time in the living room.
In what was arguably otherwise a pretty dry 60 minutes, the lifelong friends mischievously breaking taboo for a giggle was by far the highlight of the long-awaited return of BBC One’s divisive comedy.
However, some have slammed the BBC for pushing what could be a dangerous narrative, ignoring the underlying dangers of smoking marijuana. Lord Nicholas Manson lost his son to drugs, and revealed he saw the crippling effects of cannabis first hand, accusing Gavin and Stacey of ‘pushing a strong subliminal message that cannabis is perfectly OK and those who fear it might be otherwise are fair game for mockery?’
He told the Daily Mail: ‘Our tragedy is not unique. Super-strong cannabis is mentally damaging, it is thought, for about one in nine regular users. Because of developing brain issues before the age of 25, the young are even more susceptible to its injurious effects.’ Mary Brett, of campaign group Cannabis Skunk Sense, added: ‘It is very disheartening and actually frightening when television people think it’s funny to smoke cannabis.’ The BBC declined to comment on this story. Gavin and Stacey returned to record ratings, with 12 million viewers tuning in on Christmas Day while millions more will have caught up on iPlayer. Naturally, then, audiences have been calling for a fourth series in their droves after that headache of a cliff-hanger, while the cast has been told there could be more episodes on the horizon.