Comedy legend Sir David Jason has revealed some of the secrets behind the forthcoming Open All Hours Christmas special.
In an interview with TV Times magazine, the star has described his return to Doncaster as “like stepping back in time” - and is also hopeful that the show will pay a fitting tribute to Ronnie Barker, the star of the original series.
He said: “I felt quite a responsibility to try and ensure that it would be as entertaining as when Ronnie Barker had made it. When we filmed the outside scenes in Doncaster it was a bit like stepping back in time because the shop we use was exactly the same and so was the whole street.
“We did feel Ronnie’s influence when we were filming and when people first saw the photos of me standing in the shop doorway they said that for a second they thought it was Ronnie. I wear the same gear Ronnie wore and for a minute it’s like, ‘God, the old man is back!’”
The show, which will be screened on Boxing Day on BBC1 at 7.45pm, is 28 years on from the last episode, which was screened in 1985, and now sees Granville running the corner shop, scenes for which were filmed at the Beautique hair salon in Lister Avenue, Balby.
And as well as familiar characters, such as Nurse Gladys Emmanuel, Mavis and Mrs Featherstone, the show will also feature a few other classic favourites.
Said Sir David: “You couldn’t do Open All Hours without the till! For some reason everybody loves that till.”
And the old shop bike will also return - although Sir David admits he wasn’t as keen to see it back.
“That bike was a pain in the butt in more ways that one because the gears hadn’t been sorted out properly and it was quite difficult to ride, but it was wonderful to see it again,” he said.