Emotional return to Doncaster for Sir David

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Open All Hours stars Sir David Jason and Lynda Baron have revealed their delight at the show’s return to the screen this Christmas.

The pair will reprise their roles as Granville and Nurse Gladys Emmanuel for the hotly-anticipated corner shop comedy which will be screened on BBC1 on Boxing Day.

And the duo have revealed how they loved coming back to Doncaster to film exterior scenes at the original shop in Balby where the show was filmed between 1973 and 1985.

“It was quite emotional to return to the old haunting ground,” said Sir David. “Lynda and I were so pleased the location hadn’t changed. A lot of people came out to see us filming, but they were all very well-behaved and nice, so it was very rewarding.”

And Lynda Baron added: “Yes, they were thrilled to see us. People were going, ‘You haven’t changed’. I was like, ‘Really?’”

The show last aired in 1985 and the new version catches up with the characters nearly three decades on, with Granville having inherited the cluttered emporium from his uncle Arkwright, played in the original run by comedy legend Ronnie Barker.

The idea stemmed from a lunch the actor had with the BBC’s head of comedy a couple of years back.

“He said it’d be nice to find something for me to do to come back to the BBC, and during the conversation I happened to say one of the things that mystified me was wondering whatever happened to Granville.”

He then approached original script writer Roy Clarke. “He said, ‘Funnily enough, for years I’ve wondered what happened to Granville’. He was so excited by the prospect he put pen to paper straight away, and here we are.”

The star added: “It’s like we’ve never gone away.”