David Jason’s ‘emotional’ return to Doncaster

David Jason filming Open All Hours in Balby.
David Jason filming Open All Hours in Balby.

Acting legend Sir David Jason has described his return to Doncaster to film Open All Hours as “emotional” ahead of the first episode of the new series on Boxing Day.

The first part of the six part series, filmed in the town in September, will be broadcast at 6.25pm on BBC1 - and the star has spoken of his joy at seeing the show return to television screens.

In an interview with the Daily Express, Sir David said: “I’m really excited to be bringing back the show. The feedback from our Christmas special has been so rewarding and encouraging. It goes to prove that the corner shop is still open all hours.”

The new series was commissioned after a special show last Christmas drew in 12.2 million viewers - making it the most watched programme of the festive period and one of the biggest hits of 2013.

Actress Lynda Baron who returns as Nurse Gladys Emmanuel, admits she was astounded by the viewing figures.

“I didn’t realise there were audiences that big anymore,” she said. “It’s a lesson everyone in the business should take heed of – those audiences are out there, but they’re just not being shown what they want to see. Open All Hours is a feel-good show. There’s no blood and bullets, it’s just lovely and light-hearted. It has a wonderful nostalgic, sentimental feel that really resonates with people.”

Written by Roy Clarke, who penned the original series starring Ronnie Barker, which ran between 1973 and 1985, exterior sequences were shot over a two week period at the Beautique hair salon on the corner of Lister Avenue and Scarth Avenue in Balby with the tiny shop being converted into Arkwright’s cluttered emporium once more.

Added Sir David, 74: “It was very emotional to return to the old hunting ground, but we were so pleased that the location and the people hadn’t changed. Everyone was welcoming, nice and polite.”

It is thought that if the series proves a hit, a second series will be commissioned.