One of Wales' most popular actresses, Joanna Page, has decided to quit acting and change career.

The 44-year-old actress from Treboeth, Swansea, well-known for playing Stacey in smash-hit comedy series Gavin & Stacey and Just Judy in Christmas rom-com Love Actually, has decided to switch acting for TV presenting as it's better suited to her family life.

Joanna and her husband, former Emmerdale star James Thornton, are parents to a daughter, Eva, aged eight, and two sons, six-year-old Kit and Noah, four.

Read more:Rob Brydon has made a TikTok video about the Gavin & Stacey fishing trip and everyone's talking about it

They're also preparing to welcome their "surprise" fourth child later this year, reports The Mirror

Explaining why presenting television programmes is more fitting to family life, Joanna said: "I really enjoy presenting and it works a lot better with a family as you don’t have to go away for weeks on end.

“For the first six months after I had Eva I was away working filming two shows back to back.

"I had my mum looking after her on set but it was so tough as all I wanted to do was spend time with my new baby.

"Also, I just find presenting a lot more interesting. You’re always doing something different and I love just being myself and chatting to people.

"It can be a lot more fun than sitting alone in a trailer for hours learning lines, then going out to do a scene where you’re pretending to be ­somebody else."

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Earlier this year Joanna presented the most recent series of BBC One's Shop Well For Less, a consumer series that sees families across the UK re-evaluate their spending habits in an effort to save money and be less wasteful.

Whilst the latest series came to an end last month, Joanna is set to be back on our screens this weekend as co-host on The Pet Show with Dermot O'Leary.

"I’ve always loved animals and my pets are definitely a part of the family, so presenting The Pet Show has been a complete dream," she said. "Co-hosting with Dermot was an absolute joy. He’s such a lovely man, so funny and brilliant to work with."

Joanna is most well-known for starring as Stacey in hit BBC comedy series Gavin and Stacey, written by Ruth Jones and James Corden
Joanna is most well-known for starring as Stacey in hit BBC comedy series Gavin and Stacey, written by Ruth Jones and James Corden

Whilst Joanna plans to focus on television presenting from now on, she hasn't permanently closed the door on her acting career.

If a certain popular television programme was to film a one-off special, like its popular 2019 Christmas special, Joanna would jump at the opportunity to get back on set.

"We all want to know what Smithy said at the end," she said. "It’s such a great job. You’re working with people who make you laugh all day long like Rob Brydon. The Christmas special felt like a big reunion."

The 2019 Gavin & Stacey Christmas Special pulled some 18 million viewers - but its announcement came "very out of the blue".

If another episode was to be filmed, Joanna thinks it would be announced spontaneously too.

She said: "None of the rest of the cast ever expected we would do another special. We didn’t have a clue.

"After the third series ended we were told: 'This is it, there won’t be any more,' so it was such a complete shock!

"I’d expect if it was ever going to be on TV again that getting another phone call out of the blue is what would happen!"

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For now though, Joanna is focusing on getting her home ready for her fourth baby.

She said: "Finding out I was pregnant was a very welcome and happy surprise. As it’s my fourth child, I feel quite relaxed. I’ve gone through my manic phase where I’ve been getting the nursery ready and felt like I’ve had so much energy, but now I’ve hit a wall.

"All I want to do is lie on the sofa and eat, sleep and watch Netflix. I’m trying to get the shopping all sorted so I can have the whole of November just lying on the sofa."

Fortunately, with a husband and three other children in tow, Joanna will have lots of help at home when the new baby comes along.

"[My children] were completely and utterly over the moon [to find out I was expecting]," she said. "Eva is well up for helping this time around.

"I really like being in a really big family. It’s always so noisy and loud and it feels like we are one big pack."

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