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Still Open All Hours 

Arkwright is long dead and nephew Granville now runs the shop with his daft son Leroy, the result of a one night stand in Blackpool. Granville is just as parsimonious as his late uncle, ... See full summary »

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Lynda Baron ...
James Baxter ...
Catherine Breeze ...
Mrs Hemstock
...
Barry Chuckle ...
Mr. Marshall (as Barry Elliott)
Emily Fleeshman ...
Hayley
Brigit Forsyth ...
Kulvinder Ghir ...
Kathryn Hunt ...
Vera
...
Sally Lindsay ...
Nadine Mulkerrin ...
Ashley
...
...
...
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Arkwright is long dead and nephew Granville now runs the shop with his daft son Leroy, the result of a one night stand in Blackpool. Granville is just as parsimonious as his late uncle, trying to sell nappy rash cream as a body-building aid and finding a unique way to shift a load of anchovy paste. The handsome Leroy is a hit with the female customers but Granville is having trouble getting back with old flame Mavis, now back on the market, because she is guarded by her fearsome sister Madge. Mrs Featherstone, the erstwhile Black Widow, is very keen to get intimate with Granville - unlike retired nurse Gladys Emmanuel, who has no more interest in Granville than she had in his uncle. However, after a trying day with his most annoying customer Wet Eric, Granville finds that a little attention from the Black Widow does not come a miss. Written by don @ minifie-1

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Comedy

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Release Date:

26 December 2013 (UK)  »

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Painful to watch...
11 January 2015 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

When Ronnie Barker was in his prime as an actor & writer, he was known (particularly at the BBC) as 'The Guv'nor'. When he retired, concerned about the quality of the material he was producing, to his antiques business in Oxfordshire, he allegedly, at his retirement dinner, told David Jason 'you're The Guv'nor now'-how wrong he was...

Having retired from 'A Touch of Frost', and after a series of disappointing efforts, I suspect (and this is only speculation) that Jason persuaded Roy Clarke to resurrect one of Barker's best-loved characters, with a two-dimensional contrived back story to place Granville (complete with a dullard son, Leroy, to take on his own original role) into Arkwright's shoes. It's been 20 years since the last episode of 'Open All Hours', and it shows-comedy always moves onwards!... If this postscript had been set in period, some (and even then, only some) of the 'jokes' might have been acceptable, but placing it in an allegedly contemporary setting, this brand of tired comedy just doesn't work, particularly as Barker, the genius, is no longer around to add that extra touch of sparkle. I watched the pilot episode in late 2013, and thought it trite, crass and clumsy-I rather hoped that the BBC had learned their lesson, and would let sleeping dogs lie-no such luck... I missed the earliest episodes of the new series, but have now caught up-I shan't be watching any more!..

In the original series, some of the jokes and set pieces could be spotted a mile away, but the cast and scriptwriter had a wonderful time getting there-this new series is just ham-fisted. Although some of the supporting cast (notably Stephanie Cole as the black widow, and Maggie Ollerenshaw as the ever dim-witted Mavis), reprising their original roles, are as good as ever, most of the 'new' characters are just too awful for words (although Brigit Forsyth seems game)-this was always a one-man show, and without it's real star (whose presence is always felt hovering in the background, and is often referred to in the script), it's just a lead balloon. Far too many 'jokes' have simply been brought forward from the original series, and Clarke is still relying on weak physical comedy-but Jason isn't the clown that Barker was, and lacks his timing, so that this inevitably falls flat-hence the canned laughter that punctuates the show, enabling the denser members of the watching public to realize that a joke or funny line has just been delivered.

David Jason was a fine actor, who should have understood that his place in the hearts of the Great British Public was assured by his performances as Delboy, Ted Simcock, Jack Frost, Granville (in the original series), and my own personal favourite, Peter Barnes (A Sharp Intake of Breath)-he should have known to leave well alone... As it is, he's blotted his copybook, and will now be remembered for resurrecting the spectre of the great Ronnie Barker, from whose shadow he could not escape, in a cheap, tawdry gewgaw of a show, that will only be remembered for its shabby paucity, when compared to the original...


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