Tag Archives: Childhood

TV Show: Still Open All Hours

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asjdfh I’ve recently been watching Still Open All Hours, a BBC programme, which is a sequel series to the 1976 Open All Hours show that lasted for four seasons. Open All Hours, which has been (and still is), repeated endlessly on various channels such as BBC One and Comedy Gold, was a part of my childhood. I absolutely loved watching Ronnie Barker and David Jason together in Arkwright’s shop.

Open All Hours was a sitcom set in a small Grocer’s shop. Albert Arkwright (Ronnie Barker) is the tight owner with a stammer. He is joined by his nephew Granville (David Jason), a young boy caught between his long working hours and his social life. The show follows their management of the shop and their interactions with their customers and neighbours.

Still Open All Hours, the sequel series, commissioned for six special episodes, follows Granville (still David Jason) as the owner of the shop, running it with the help of his son, Leroy (James Baxter). Granville now has the occasional stammer when referring to his uncle and has grown up to live by the standards that Arthur Arkwright himself did, this includes how little money he felt comfortable spending.open-all-hours-1

In addition, some of the neighbours and customers in the new series are the same characters played by the same actors as in the old series adding a real sense of how the community has grown with Arkwright’s shop and giving continuity between the two shows.

I love the show for its standalone qualities but I most enjoy the fact it brings that little gem from the past to those who used to love the show and to an entirely new generation. I think the show is a lovely tribute to the late Ronnie Barker who was and still is loved by many across the nation. I just think the whole concept is extremely heart-warming and I’m sure that David Jason, James Baxter and the entire cast of Still Open All Hours would make Ronnie feel very loved and very proud.

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Disclaimer – I do own the pictures, they are from: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2133936/Shopkeeper-inspired-Ronnie-Barkers-Arkwright-character-Open-All-Hours-dies-aged-78.html and http://www.telegraph.co.uk/topics/christmas/10531771/Still-Open-All-Hours-David-Jason-back-to-the-shop-floor.html.
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Film: The Princess Diaries

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jhjfhToday, I’m recommending this film, The Princess Diaries, purely because it’s my favourite film. It may seem like a weird choice and I know this film won’t be everyone’s cup of tea but sometimes you don’t choose your favourite film; it chooses you.

I remember being given a VHS copy of The Princess Diaries as a birthday gift from one of my closest friends. I unwrapped it and put it to the side. I wasn’t particularly thrilled by a film that contained ‘real people’ as I was still of the age where the only things I watched were cartoons and animated films.

I don’t remember when I first watched the film, or what kept me glued to the TV when I finally did, but I do remember its incredible influence on me over my childhood. The film has once again come to my attention, hence triggering this post, as for Christmas I finally received a DVD copy of it as a gift, something I had been asking for, for a while. It was my watching it after several years of having not done so that reaffirmed my love for it.

Right from the beginning of the film, it has an incredible soundtrack, each song fitting the film perfectly. The atmosphere is wonderful, and the narrative, two things that make the film appropriate for audiences of all ages. The characters, as they usually are, are so endearing and warm enhancing the narrative. The film is also host to a wonderful cast of actors including Julie Andrews and Anne Hathaway.

By this point, I should probably tell you the narrative. Simply because they do it so much better than me, here is the imdb summary; ‘Mia Thermopolis is the average teenager – sweet, a little geeky and pretty much invisible to everyone with the exception of her mother, best friend Lilly and Lilly’s older brother Michael. Making it through high school without throwing up is a challenge in itself for Mia, so it doesn’t come as welcome news when her estranged grandmother shows up out of the blue and calmly informs her that she is in fact the heir to the throne of a European country called Genovia. Suddenly Mia’s life is throwPrincess-Diaries-Annen into complete overload. She’s being taught about scarves, waves and pears in order to become a perfect princess, she gets a makeover and a tough looking yet sweet bodyguard/limo driver called Joe. Things get out of hand when the media gets a hold of the story and suddenly Mia is thrust into the spotlight in both the newspapers and in school. On top of all that Mia has a choice to make. She must decide by Genovia’s Independence Day Ball whether she longs to relinquish her claim on the throne or to become the princess and heir her father and grandmother want her to be’.

As I recently re-watched The Princess Diaries, I found that it’s influence in my childhood was rather larger than I had formally imagined. Whatever imaginative game I played with my friends, I would name my character Mia, since the main character’s nickname is Mia (short for Amelia). I was also obsessed with her bedroom, in a refurbished firehouse, in which she had a spiral staircase leading up to a hatch in the ceiling into another ‘secret’ room where she could hide out. The character’s call it ‘The Tower’ and I wanted a Tower of my own, I still do to be honest.

I genuinely love this film, and of course hope that if my recommendation pushes you to watch The Princess Diaries that you will like it too.

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Disclaimer – I do not own any pictures in this blog, they are from: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0247638/ and http://www.sunsetrising.net/2014/07/06/overlooked-on-netflix-the-princess-diaries-i-ii/.