Still Open All Hours – 2013
In October 2013 an announcement appeared in the British media that much loved sitcom Open All Hours was to return for a one off episode at Christmas.
Clearly this caused much excitement, particuarly as Ronnie Barker who had played the grasping grocer Arkwright in the original series was no longer with us. Details emerged that it would be a tribute sequel to the original and entitled Still Open All Hours and feature many of the surviving original cast.
Much anticipated, rumours began to circulate that the BBC were so pleased with the outcome there would be a full series to follow.
We spoke to Roy Clarke in 2013 and he revealed that the idea came about over a lunch with David Jason, Keen to work with David Jason the BBC asked him if he had any writers he’d like to work with. He said Roy Clarke. Over lunch the actor revealed he’d often wondered what became of Granville. Roy Clarke had often wondered the same so the idea of a return to Open All Hours was hatched.
Christmas 2013 arrived and the show was given a prime time slot in the Boxing Day TV schedules. The media jumped on this and ran stories that perhaps it was not as good as first thought, all of which turned out to be just that – stories.
The BBC had cleverly taken all their big shows and slotted them in to the big days one at a time. The show aired on 26th December 2013 to rave reviews and topped the audience figures for Boxing Day at 12.23 million making it the most watched show of that week.
It wasn’t long before the BBC announced it had commissioned a full series of six episodes. The first of those went out the same as the 2013 pilot – Boxing Day 2014. The new series was another smash with episode one topping the Boxing Day ratings with 5.69m viewers, whilst episode two gained an extra 700 thousand giving the show 6.39 million viewers and topping Sunday night’s ratings.
The series has proved beyond ant doubt that there is still an appetite for the classics as Still Open All Hours is currently in it’s fourth series.
We’re back at Arkwright’s corner shop. Arkwright has passed away and kept his promise as Granville is now in charge. There’s a twist to the story, Granville did once get away for a night of passion and now has a son of his own -Leroy, who following in his Father’s footsteps is the errand boy.
In the pilot episode we find Granville following in his Uncle’s footsteps, as he concocts a sneaky plan to clear his stock of anchovy paste. Whilst his plan has some rather surprising results, meanwhile Leroy passes on the delivery bike in favour of a much better delivery method.
Granville’s old flame Mavis is still on the scene and single, only now she is protected by her terrifying sister Madge. Enter local handyman Gastric who becomes the pawn in Granville’s schemes to get past Madge. Add some of the old Arkwright sales techniques and a sinister till it’s business as usual at everyone’s favourite corner shop.
Written By: Roy Clarke
Original Transmission Date: 26th December 2013 – Present