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Gavin and Stacey is an easy-to-watch, lovable TV show that was set in and mostly filmed in Wales. It’s full of puns, Welsh slang and the odd mystery! And one of these major mysteries is the Owain Hughes joke. 

Nobody seems to know who this person is or what the joke even means. But there are lots of theories on the topic! Discover more about Owain Hughes below. 

What is the Owain Hughes Joke? 

In the first episode of Season 3 of Gavin and Stacey, Gavin starts a new job in Cardiff. As this is his first day he goes on a quick tour around the office with his boss Huw. As he’s walking back to his desk a young man walks up and introduces himself as “Owain Hughes”, and then adds, “and before you ask, no I don’t.” 

Gavin is left completely baffled by this introduction, while Huw and Owain erupt into fits of laughter at this obvious in-joke.

Sadly for Gavin, the bewilderment doesn’t end there though. 

Uncle Bryn then turns up at the office window with a packed lunch for him. An uncomfortable Gavin proceeds to introduce Uncle Bryn to his new colleagues only for Uncle Bryn to ask Owain, “Owain Hughes, and do you?” To which Owain replies, “No, I don’t”. The trio burst out laughing as Gavin looks on totally confused. 

Later on, Gavin and joke-loving Smithy try to decipher the Owain Hughes joke, but the best buddies don’t understand what was so funny about the name Owain Hughes. Watch the classic clip here, and try to work out what the joke means! 

Don’t be too hard on yourself if you can’t figure it out. A lot of us here in Wales still aren’t sure what the joke means, even Rob Brydon commented on Twitter that he didn’t know himself! 


What is the Meaning of the Owain Hughes Joke?

There’s a lot of debate about what the Owain Hughes joke actually means, but as of yet, no theory has been confirmed! But check out some of the most popular and plausible theories below, and decide which one you think sounds best.  

One of the biggest theories about the meaning of the ‘Owain Hughes’ joke is that it’s a Welsh in-joke that only people from Wales will understand. This is highlighted in the show by the Welsh characters laughing, and the English characters, such as Gavin, finding the joke a load of nonsense! 

In some odd way this may be a nod towards the rivalry between the Welsh and the English. In this case the English are purposely being left out of the joke. 

Another speculative theory is that the joke is a clever play on words. The name ‘Owain Hughes’, when spoken out loud sounds a little like ‘Owe Wayne Hughes’. So, when someone asks “And do you?” they’re actually asking if you ‘owe Wayne Hughes money’. 

And, of course, there’s also the theory that the Owain Hughes joke means absolutely nothing and it’s there to spark conversation. Much like Uncle Bryn and Jason’s fishing trip incident – which we still don’t know anything about! 


Who Plays Owain Hughes in Gavin and Stacey? 

Steven Meo plays Owain Hughes in Gavin and Stacey. He is one of Gavin’s work colleagues and he manages the company’s website.

Interestingly, Meo appeared in The Pembrokeshire Murders opposite Luke Evans. His role in this police drama wasn’t quite so comedic though! 

In the show, Meo is part of a team of detectives who are trying to find evidence to prosecute serial killer John Cooper for murders he committed in the 1980s. 

The two characters, ‘Owain Hughes’ and ‘DI Lynne Harries,’ couldn’t be more different! 

Kieren is the founder and editor-in-chief of Wales Guidebook. Originally from rural Mid-Wales, he has lived all over the country from Cardiff to Wrexham. A true Welshman, Kieren created this site to share his passion for Wales and help others discover this beautiful country.