In the autumn of 2014 I was lucky enough to get tickets to the studio recording of episode 1 of series 1 of Still Open All Hours at the now closed Teddington Studios.  I had grown up watching Open All Hours on the TV and had enjoyed the pilot for its sequel, which had been screened on Boxing Day the previous year.  The opportunity to see the filming of the modern incarnation of such a classic was not to be missed.  To see Sir David Jason performing in person, and other big names in classic comedy, such as Lynda Baron, Stephanie Cole and Maggie Ollerenshaw, was a not to be forgotten experience.  Indeed, with the new male line up consisting of Johnny Vegas, Kulvinder Ghir and Tim Healy, it was a cast of great skill and experience.  New boy James Baxter, playing Leroy to Jason’s Granville, hit the quality mark too, and may be one day he will be the “The Governor”, in the same way Jason picked up the mantle from the late, great Ronnie Barker.  Roy Clarke has long been one of my favourite comedy writers, his dry northern sense of humour and rich character observations always appealing.  It is great to see series 3 of Still Open All Hours now being broadcast on TV and hope very much we will see Arkwright’s open again next year, cash till and all.

[I also run a website on Roy Clarke’s series First of the Summer Wine, with cast interviews, including Still Open All Hours’ Maggie Ollerenshaw.]


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