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.
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.