Open All Hours, 1976
It’s the one with the Nurse and a grasping grocer
A true classic sitcom. Starting out as the opening episode of the Seven Of One series in 1973, Open All Hours ran for twenty six episodes over four series between 1976 and 1985.
In an interview with us, writer Roy Clarke explained how the idea for the series came about. “The BBC were doing a series “Seven Of One” for Ronnie Barker, looking for ideas that could make it to a full series. I had lunch with Ronnie Barker, who said he always wanted to play one of those shopkeepers who sells everything. The idea particularly appealed to me as my wife used to run one.”
The show was originally broadcast in three blocks: series one in 1976, series 2 and 3 1981 and 1982, series four 1985. Series One was originally broadcast on BBC2 before moving to BBC1 for the remaining three series.
In 2004, the series was voted eighth in a poll by the BBC to find Britain’s Best Sitcom.
Ronnie Barker stars as Arkwright, the stuttering grocer. Arkwright’s urge to take money from customers is second only to his need to prevent his nephew, Granville, from discovering a world beyond the shop bell… And, of course, his passion for nurse Gladys Emmanuel.
Episodes generally involve some plan by Arkwright to wed Nurse Gladys, save money or sell more stock and end with Arkwright shutting shop for the night with his reflection on the day.
Arkwright – Ronnie Barker
Granville – David Jason
Nurse Gladys Emanuelle – Linda Barron (Sheila Brennan – pilot)
Widow Featherstone – Stephanie Cole
Mrs Blewitt – Kathy Staff
Milk Lady – Barbera Flynn
Mavis – Maggie Ollerenshaw
Channel: BBC2 (series one), BBC1 (series two, three and four)
Written By: Roy Clarke
Original Transmission Dates:
25 March 1973
20 February – 26 March 1976
1 March – 19 April 1981
21 March – 25 April 1982
1 September – 6 October 1985
All four series of Open All Hours still exist within the BBC archives and enjoy regular repeats on the satellite and cable channel G.O.L.D.
In 2013, it was announced that the series would return for a one off Christmas Special written by original writer Roy Clarke. Indeed it did, David Jason returned as Granville in the episode that sees him inherit his Uncle’s shop after his death. To date (2019) Still Open All Hours has ran for five series with series six due 19th October 2019.