Doncaster show was ‘just like old times’

Doncaster writer Roy Clarke. Picture: Malcolm Billingham
Doncaster writer Roy Clarke. Picture: Malcolm Billingham
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South Yorkshire writer Roy Clarke has revealed how a dream to return classic sitcom Open All Hours to the screen became reality.

The show, which starred comedy legend Ronnie Barker as miserly shopkeeper Arkwright and David Jason as his long-suffering errand boy nephew Granville, will return for a one-off 30 minute episode this Christmas.

The show is to be filmed in Balby, Doncaster, in November – at the hairdressing salon used for exterior scenes in 26 episodes of the show.

And Mr Clarke, who penned the original, has revealed how the project, with Sir David reprising his role as Granville, came about.

He said: “The BBC’s comedy department put David and me together to find something new and the head of comedy said why not do a one-off version of Open All Hours?

“We all thought ‘what a fantastic idea’ and within a few weeks, here we are.”

Mr Clarke, aged 83, of Sykehouse, Doncaster, said: “It has been a very fast moving project. It took me about two weeks to put the script together, going through a few draughts.

“The whole thing very much has the look and feel of the original show. And working with David again has been an absolute joy.

“We spent afternoons sitting around giggling.

“I wanted to keep as close to the original as I could and, to be honest, that wasn’t difficult. David said to me that when he read the script, it felt like that it had never been away.”