Plan for new Open All Hours series

Sir David Jason filming Open All Hours in Balby earlier today (19 November 2013).
Sir David Jason filming Open All Hours in Balby earlier today (19 November 2013).

The producer of the Open All Hours Christmas special filmed in Doncaster has hinted a full series of the classic sitcom could be made if the one-off episode proves a festive hit.

Shooting on the new show, entitled Still Open All Hours, ended in Balby yesterday, with hundreds of fans turning out to catch a glimpse of television legend Sir David Jason as well as fellow stars Stephanie Cole, Lynda Baron and Maggie Ollerenshaw during the three-day shoot.

And the show’s producer Gareth Edwards is hoping if the feature-length special proves a smash, Granville and co could return for a full run.

He said: “We shall see - there is a lot of optimism to take this project forward.

“There is a lot of life in the world that writer Roy Clarke has created. He is an amazing writer - all of the show is his imagination.”

The special comes 28 years after the final series of the original programme, which starred Ronnie Barker as miserly northern shopkeeper Arkwright, assisted by his put-upon errand boy nephew Granville, played by David Jason.

Mr Edwards, who has been present throughout on the set on the corner of Lister Avenue and Scarth Avenue in Balby, added: “I can’t say too much about the plot, but it does involve anchovy paste - that’s all I’m saying!”

He said: “There has been so much interest in the return of Open All Hours that we have to get the programmme right - that’s our first priority.

“Everyone in Doncaster has been so welcoming and there is so much enthusiasm and love for the show.”

Mr Edwards, who also produced a festive special featuring Ronnie Corbett several years ago, said: “I’ve always loved the show. It was part of my childhood and I grew up with it so to see the shop again is absolutely wonderful.

“But the show looks forward too. It’s not just a nostalgia trip, although fans of the original series will be delighted to know a lot of the old jokes - like the deadly till - have been kept in.”

The focus has now switched to studio shooting in Salford in early December with the completed version expected to be one of the BBC’s biggest shows this Christmas.

How a pilot show became a comedy national treasure

Open All Hours first made its debut as a Ronnie Barker pilot show - and the first series hit television screens way back in 1973.

Penned by Doncaster author Roy Clarke, the series was not an instant hit, but ratings grew steadily and by the time the final series was aired in 1985, the characters of Arkwright, Granville and Nurse Gladys had become firm favourites with the viewing public.

The shop is based on a little store called LE Riddiford in Thornbury, South Gloucestershire.

Roy Clarke visited the small town while travelling around the south west and was said to have fallen in love with the shop layout and the store owner, Mr Len Riddiford, and his traditional values.