Belfast Telegraph

Monday 21 April 2014

Barker missed on All Hours sequel

Lynda Baron and David Jason have reunited in Still Open All Hours, but missed the presence of the late Ronnie Barker on set

Sir David Jason and Lynda Baron have admitted it was emotional returning to the original location of Open All Hours without the late Ronnie Barker.

Sir David and Lynda have reunited for one-off Christmas special Still Open All Hours, 30 years after they last appeared in the classic sitcom about Arkwright's corner store. They returned to the same street in the Doncaster suburbs, where they filmed the original series, and all the cast and crew felt Barker's presence.

Lynda admitted she found it "quite upsetting" when she first walked on set: "It was weird, a very strange feeling. Ronnie's presence was so marvellous; that varnish, that history, is still there."

"It was quite emotional to return to the old haunting ground," said Sir David. "Lynda and I were so pleased the location hadn't changed."

The new show sees Sir David's character Granville now running his Uncle Arkwright's shop with his son Leroy, played by James Baxter, and Lynda reprising her role as Nurse Gladys Emmanuel.

"One felt quite a responsibility to try and ensure it was as entertaining as Ronnie made it," admitted Sir David.

"There was one photo [from the shoot] in particular, of me standing in the shop doorway. Everybody said when they first saw it they thought it was Ronnie. He was so identifiable and I wear the same sort of gear he wore, so for a minute it's like he's come back."

:: Still Open All Hours airs on BBC One on Boxing Day.

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