Open All Hours (BBC-1 1973-1985, Ronnie Barker, David Jason)

In highly popular sitcom Open All Hours Arkwright, the brown-coated, stuttering, Northern shop-keeper likes to open his corner-shop for as long as the law will permit. But, he still finds time for his passions – parting unsuspecting customers from their hard earned cash, keeping his daydreaming nephew Granville in line , and of course his tireless pursuit of nurse Gladys Emmanuel.

In Roy Clarke’s sitcom, Ronnie Barker plays Arkwright, the penny pinching proprietor, and David Jason is Granville, his much put upon assistant.

Open All Hours takes an absurd, affectionate and hilarious look at the ‘cut and thrust’ of life in the traditional British corner-shop. Arkwright has not yet emerged from the dark ages of commerce. He is rude and mercenary in equal measure, buying food from his shop is a kind of gastronomic lottery and dietician’s nightmare. He is obsessed by his twin business objectives; grooming the hapless Granville for business success, and exploiting an infinitely gullible public.

He constantly fights a losing battle to transform his lackadaisical nephew Granville into a worthy heir to his commercial empire.This involves thwarting Granville’s amorous prospects and daydreams of wild adventure by ensuring that he is never allowed to wander much beyond the boundaries of his delivery round. This leaves Arkwright with just enough time to conjure up his ever more ludicrous schemes for enticing unwar y passers-by into his shop. Of course, once inside Arkwright’s Emporium it’s impossible to leave empty handed.

In those few hours that Arkwright can bear to close the shop, his lecherous attentions turn to neighbour, customer and objet d’amour, the voluptuous nurse Gladys Emmanuel. Despite his persistence and some hilariously cunning ruses, Nurse Gladys manages, quite expertly, to keep her shopkeeper fiancee from getting his hands on her comestibles . . . most of the time that is!

The show began life as one episode in Ronnie Barker’s anthology series Seven of One. Surprisingly revived in 2015 as Still Open All Hours with Granville having now taken over the running of the shop following the death of Arkwright and in the process becoming an almost carbon copy of his Uncle.

Writer: Roy Clarke
Producer and Director: Sydney Lotterby

production details
UK / BBC One / 25×30 minutes / Broadcast 25 March 1973 – 6 October 1985
Script: Roy Clarke,

David Jason as Granville
Ronnie Barker as
Barbara Flynn as Milkgirl
Lynda Baron as Nurse Gladys Emmanuel
Shirley Steedman as Maggie Ollerenshaw as
Stephanie Cole as

Alastair James is the editor in chief for Memorable TV. He has been involved in media since his university days. Alastair is passionate about television, and some of his favourite shows include Line of Duty, Luther and Traitors. He is always on the lookout for hot new shows, and is always keen to share his knowledge with others.