Open All Hours fan and TV chef Clarissa Dickson-Wright dies

Clarissa Dickson Wright,  outside Arkwright's shop in Lister Avenue in 2004.
Clarissa Dickson Wright, outside Arkwright's shop in Lister Avenue in 2004.

Clarissa Dickson Wright, one half of TV cookery duo Two Fat Ladies with the late Jennifer Paterson, has died, aged 66.

The former barrister filmed three series of the BBC Two programme before Paterson’s death in 1999.

As well as the TV cookery show, she was also a huge supporter and fan of Doncaster-filmed sitcom Open All Hours, visiting the town in 2004 to make a programme about the comedy classic starring Ronnie Barker and David Jason.
The chef visited the hairdressing salon, which was transformed into Arkwright’s shop for the Britain’s Best Sitcom programme, nine years ahead of its eventual return to screens last year.

She even dressed as Arkwright in the character’s famed brown overcoat for the programme which saw Open All Hours named the country’s eighth favourite comedy behind the likes of Only Fools and Horses, Blackadder and Fawlty Towers.

Discussing her love for the programme she said: “Open All Hours is more than just sitcom - it’s a work of literature. And it’s gloriously politically incorrect! That stammer, the Hungarian-ophobia, the nudge-nudge jokes about Nurse Gladys. You just couldn’t get away with it nowadays - but, boy was it funny”!

“Open All Hours is also the only sitcom in the top 10 based in the North of England, which when one bears in mind the comic heritage of the region is quite astonishing. The wit and warmth of northern people is accurately illustrated in Roy Clarke’s script and brilliantly portrayed by the greatest comic leads ever to have appeared on our screens”.

“And perhaps the greatest, and most unique, asset of Open All Hours is its sheer cosiness! The programme fits like a favourite pair of old slippers, welcoming the viewer to the warmth of the TV fireside. The show is like mother’s treacle pudding, or a settling brandy on a cold winter night”.

She died in Edinburgh on Saturday night, according to her agent.