Open All Hours is not the first show that would spring to mind if you were thinking about bringing back a popular situation comedy series.
The original only lasted for twenty six episodes. The pilot was screened in 1973 and the last episode in 1985.
It was very much a vehicle for the talents of its original lead actor Ronnie Barker. With Ronnie sadly having passed away, it will be interesting to see if this new episode proves popular enough to lead to a new series.
Another past sitcom success, Birds of Feather, is also getting a new series – although it has been granted a full eight episode run starting on ITV on the second of January. Open All Hours is a series which has an interesting history which will be explored in more depth at 1.25pm on Friday.
You would have thought that the BBC might have aired that retrospective prior to the new episode called Still Open All Hours, which will be screened on Boxing Day on BBC1 at a quarter to eight. Arkwright’s nephew Granville (David Jason), now runs the same corner shop with his son Leroy (James Baxter).
Some of former characters also return - Gladys Emmanuel (Lynda Baron), Mrs. Featherstone (Stephanie Cole) and Mavis (Maggie Ollerenshaw). Strangely one former character, Cyril, seems to have been recast.
The new programme has been written by Roy Clarke its creator so there should be enough nods to the past to keep original fans happy. While TV nowadays definitely needs more family friendly situation comedies it would be nice if programme makers could come up with some new ideas instead of reimagining old ones.
I am even hearing talk of there being yet another revival of Only Fools and Horses……Is that really a good idea?