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Open All Hours

One of the funniest British sitcoms of the 1970s and 80s, Open All Hours is still hugely popular with audiences today, enjoying regular re-runs on television channels.

Originally written as a pilot for a series involving Ronnie Barker, Open All Hours soon showed potential to become a successful sitcom in its own right. It aired on television in 1976 until 1985, with a total of 26 episodes over four series.

Written by Roy Clarke of Last of the Summer Wine fame, the corner shop setting of this BBC series was inspired by Roy's own experience of working in a grocer's shop (although in reality, the shop is a hairdressers).

Based in Balby in South Yorkshire, the comedy series focuses on the interactions between the two main characters, shopkeeper Arkwright (played by Ronnie Barker) and his nephew Granville (played by David Jason).

Arkwright is a conservative, miserly fellow who has a natural flair for getting customers to part with their cash easily. He devotes a lot of his time attempting to (unsuccessfully) woo his neighbour, Nurse Gladys Emmanuel (played by Lynda Baron). Ronnie Barker had a lot of input into his character's persona, including bestowing him with his trademark stammer, which was often a source of many of the gags in the shows.

It is arguably the chemistry between Arkwright and Granville that ensured the series was such a huge success - it has been ranked in the top ten of Britain's Best Sitcoms. Unlike Arkwright, Granville is a much more good-natured character, who works alongside his father figure shopkeeper, often bemoaning the things he is missing out on in life.

Each 30-minute episode is full of comical scenes, but those involving the shop's unpredictable till are regarded as some of the best. The till appears to have a mind of its own, causing Arkwright and Granville to flinch in terror whenever it suddenly snaps shut. Arkwright is too miserly to get the till replaced and believes its ability to terrify is enough to put would-be thieves off from stealing the takings.

Other classic scenes include the first episode of series one, when Arkwright attempts to save some cash by buying fire-damaged tins of food, only to discover that without the labels customers don't know what they're buying. Another comedy moment is when Granville finally secures himself a date, pretending to be a yuppie, although Arkwright soon sets the record straight, ensuring the date ends in disaster.

So popular was Open All Hours that a sequel was created in 2013, called Still Open All Hours. 27 episodes were broadcast, with a fifth series expected to air towards the end of 2018. Again written by Roy Clarke, some of the original cast members featured including David Jason, Lynda Baron, Maggie Ollerenshaw and Stephanie Cole.

With the high-quality shelving, eye-catching display units and other ranges of stylish and affordable shop fitting solutions from KAS Shopfittings, you won't need to resort to the same scheming tactics as Arkwright to encourage shoppers to purchase from you.
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