‘Open All Hours’ was first screened in the spring of 1973, as part of the Ronnie Barker series of comedy pilots, ‘Seven of One’; a series which not only gave birth to Albert Arkwright and his little corner of suburban absurdity, but also a prisoner by the name of Norman Stanley Fletcher, from whom we would be served a hearty bowl of ‘Porridge’. Nonetheless, it was another three years before ‘Open All Hours’ was brought back to life in its own series. Over the next nine years, four series would be aired and, despite only producing 26 episodes, it resonated with the Great British public, so much so that, in 2004, it was listed at number eight in the BBC’s search to find Britain’s Best Sitcom (a placement which, in my honest opinion, doesn’t justify such a remarkable opus).
From ‘Last of the Summer Wine’ to ‘Keeping Up Appearances’ via ‘Rosie’, ‘Potter’, ‘The Magnificent Evans’ and creating ‘Oh No, It’s Selwyn Froggit!’, not to mention the beautifully written and critically applauded, ‘A Foreign Field’, Roy Clarke’s pen serves as a considerable inspiration in my own work as a young Yorkshire writer. Therefore, the opportunity to adapt ‘Open All Hours’ proved too strong a temptation to resist for this self-confessed aficionado and, with the authorisation and artistic consultancy of Mr. Clarke, in addition to several original artistic contributions, all with the purpose of further enhancing this timeless work, here we are preparing to give a new lease of life to a comedy of the finest vintage.