Pamela Andrea "Pam" Shipman (née Gryglaszewska; b. 1953) is a fictional character in the television series Gavin & Stacey. She is portrayed by Alison Steadman.
Pam is 54 at the start of the series, who lives with her son, Gavin, and her husband, Mick, in Billericay, Essex. She married Mick in 1981, not long after the birth of their first and only child. She has a strong, maternal, caring relationship with Smithy, whom she treats as her second son. Her best friend is Dawn Sutcliffe. At the end of series 3, she and Mick are living alone, with Gavin having left home. They are expecting their first grandchild. By the 2019 Christmas Special, she is a grandmother, to Harri, Caitlin and Megan.
Characterisation[edit | edit source]
Pam is a typical Essex wife stereotype who doesn't have to work and who loves a good party and entertaining guests. She's glamorous and fun to be with, and still has a great relationship with Mick. However, she can get a little hysterical when her lively imagination starts to run wild. She also loves Camilla Parker Bowles.
When she meets Stacey's family, she pretends to be a vegetarian. Despite getting caught eating ham by Stacey in Series 2, Pam continues pretending and frantically demands Stacey not to tell anyone. In the Christmas Special, she eats turkey in front of her own family, Stacey's family and her friends. Believing that no-one has noticed, Pam cracks and asks why no-one has questioned her over eating meat. It turns out that everyone already guessed she had made this up except for Gwen who had bought Pam a vegetarian cookbook for Christmas.
She is also very caring of Smithy, Gavin's best friend, and treats him as if he were her own son. She often mothers him when he's sad. For example when his young girlfriend breaks up with him after he tells her that Nessa is pregnant with his child. Pam will also provide Smithy with extra meals when he visits even if he has already eaten.
Pam adores Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall (referring to Princess Diana as a "hussy") and acts out sexual fantasies of Charles and Camilla with her husband, Mick. She dotes on Gavin, who she calls her "Little Prince". She is very welcoming of Stacey into the family - the first time Stacey meets her, she helps her with a pimple on her face, in a motherly fashion, which allows the two to bond. Although she is initially angry at Stacey when Gavin announces they're moving back to Barry, accusing Stacey of 'stealing' her son, she apologises the next morning for overreacting.
Pam is prone to malapropisms, such as saying "ours is not to question while" (instead of "why") or "Barry's Island" instead of "Barry Island". She is often nervous and excitable and this leads her into awkward social situations, such as forcing Mick to go food shopping in response to an attack of paranoia about her guests' dietary requirements and then falsely claiming to be newly vegetarian (a pretence she is forced to maintain, much to her frustration because she craves meat) in order to explain why he has arrived with several bags of vegetarian food. Her catchphrases include "Oh My Christ", "I panicked (name)" and "Mick! Michael!"
Quotes:[edit | edit source]
"Oh my Christ!".
"No, not drunk, drunk, but I have had some wines."
"Ooh, you and me are going to fall out today!"
"Smithy darlin', lets do some shots!"
"What you said just then was really boring. I switched off after banana!"
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- Pam is conscious of her weight and has tried multiple diets including Atkins, Pilates, and cabbage soup.