Sir David Jason describes Open All Hours special as “nonsense”

James Baxter as Leroy and Sir David Jason as Granville in Still Open All Hours
James Baxter as Leroy and Sir David Jason as Granville in Still Open All Hours

Acting legend Sir David Jason has described the upcoming Open All Hours as “a wonderful piece of family nonsense.”

The star, who will return to television screens as Granville for the first time in 28 years in the classic Doncaster-based sitcom on Boxing Day, is hoping the show will appeal to viewers of all ages this Christmas.

In an interview with the Daily Mail, the 73-year-old star said: ‘I think the BBC wanted at least one programme you can sit and watch with your two-year-old or your 92-year-old and anybody in the middle and you’ll get something out of it but one of the things you get is you know you are safe.

“That you won’t get graphic sex, graphic language, people being rude to each other. Unfortunately you’ll have to go to another channel for that.

‘It is what it is and it is a great and wonderful family piece of nonsense. Just safe. It good old Open All Hours, as it was.”

The show, which will be aired on Boxing Day at 7.45pm on BBC1, saw cameras return to Doncaster for three days of filming last month.

The comedy, which also stars Johnny Vegas and Mark Williams as well as original stars Lynda Baron and Stephanie Cole, is being tipped as one of the big television hits this Christmas - and there are strong rumours that the show could return in the New Year for a full series.

The show commanded millions of viewers when it was originally broadcast, but Sir David has said that comedy shows will never achieve the same ratings ever again because of the competition from an increased amount of channels, catch-up services online and viewing services on mobile phones.

He said: ‘You will never get those audiences, ever. No one ever will. Because the world is so different. Not only are there so many channels, but you’ve got internet and you’ve got phones and you’ve got millions of ways to reach people. Those days, there wasn’t very many ways to reach people for their entertainment.

‘Of course we would all like to reach more viewers. But we will never reach those dizzy heights. As long as we reach a good audience that enjoy it and not pressing the red button.’

Sir David originally starred with the late comic Ronnie Barker - who played stammering Albert Arkwright - in the much-loved show which ran for 26 episodes between 1976 to 1985.

Viewers will see Granville has taken over the running of the local store from his uncle - but many things have stayed the same at the cluttered corner shop.