Still Open All Hours to air on Boxing Day after filming halted as sickness bug hits cast

Sir David Jason and James Baxter in Still Open All Hours.

Sir David Jason and James Baxter in Still Open All Hours.

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A sickness bug halted filming on Doncaster sitcom Still Open All Hours - but the first epsiode of the new series will air on Boxing Day as planned.

Filming of hit show was stopped and producers put the new series on hold after the cast, including its main star Sir David Jason, became ill.

Two scheduled evenings of recording with a live studio audience had to be cancelled due to the bug.

A TV source told The Mirror Online: “It’s very rare to have to cancel a TV recording because there are so many logistical issues - and even more so to cancel twice - but something has been doing the rounds and it was affecting a number of key cast and staff on the show.

“It just wasn’t possible to go ahead without those affected. Obviously the meant rejigging the recording sessions, but the series will still be airing over Christmas and New Year.

“The Christmas special episode is already finished and ready for viewers to enjoy on Boxing Day.

“The rest of the scenes have been caught up on too with the final scenes shot this week after everyone made a full recovery.”

Outdoor scenes for the third series were filmed in Balby in September after the Beautique hairdressing salon on the corner of Lister Avenue and Scarth Avenue was once again transformed into Arkwright's cluttered emporium for the third series of the cornershop sitcom.

The series returned in 2013 with what was initially a one-off Christmas special but after attracting millions of viewers, a new series was commissioned and this will be the third run of the rehashed version.

The first episode will air on Boxing Day on on BBC1 at 8.30pm and sees Granville (Sir David Jason) and Gastric (Tim Healy) turn marriage counsellors, while Leroy (James Baxter) dons an elf costume to avoid his own relationship problems.

Elsewhere, Mrs Featherstone (Stephanie Cole) tries to bring the whole gang together to defeat rival Finkle Street in a Christmas carolling competition – which might need a little bit of extra help from Granville himself…

Episode two of the new series is expected to be shown just under a week after the Christmas special on New Year’s Day (Sunday 1st January), with subsequent episodes airing every Sunday.

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