Sitcoms Blog

Open All Hours 1976 British sitcom

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Comedy Series

Roy Clarke is one of the best comedy writers in Britain with such titles in his resume as Last of the Summer Wine, Keeping Up Appearances or Rosie, often concentrating on the Yorkshire, where he was born, and often writing a bitter-sweet stories. But one of his early productions is still fondly remembered by the audience - Ronnie Barker as stingy shop owner Arkwright and his always suffering nephew Granville as errand boy.

Arkwright’s whole world is his old-fashioned shop on the corner of one of the suburbs of Doncaster - he spends there almost whole time scheming how to get rid of ridiculous merchandise he just found in his storage or bought hoping for another sale-drive. His nephew Granville helps him as errand boy and Arkwright tries to teach him all the tricks of the trade he has learned in his lifetime, but the young man is too human to be a shopkeeper, especially since most of the Arkwright’s tricks are almost like con-artist deals that his clients walk into.

Nurse Gladys Emmanuel is the only bright elements in their lives - she tries to stop Arkwright from abusing Granville, while Arkwright is sort-of engaged to her, although she tries to keep the distance. The customers know well that in Arkwright’s shop they are the prey, but somehow they do return or are tricked to return.

Set in the Yorkshire Open All Hours was similar to other Clarke’s scripts, in which the humour is often mixed with rather gloomy atmosphere or is derived from the depressing surroundings, but in this series he balanced them well and, mostly because of the very good cast (Ronnie Barker and David Jason at their best), he made a comedy series that is still fondly remembered by the audience and even in 2014 a sequel was produced by the BBC called Still Open All Hours.


  • In pilot episode the part of nurse Gladys Emmanuel was played by Sheila Brennan.

Open All Hours 1976 British sitcom classic british sitcoms shop Yorkshire

Comedy Series Blog - we search all the interesting (and sometimes not that interesting) comedy series from around the world. Some of them might be slightly better than the others, but in comedy there are no strict rules - sometimes less funny series, but made with skillful touch could be a hit. On the other hand there are series that try too hard to be funny and lose on the plots and characters building.

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