A weekly newspaper is set to be beamed into homes across Britain this Christmas by starring in a one-off festive edition of Open All Hours.
The classic 70s and 80s sitcom, which starred the late Ronnie Barker as miserly northern shopkeeper Arkwright and David Jason as his errand boy nephew Granville, is returning to BBC1 for a one-off edition – Still Open All Hours – nearly 30 years on from the last episode.
Filming of the much heralded show brought the streets of Balby in Doncaster to a standstill last month as the stars of the sitcom returned to the town for the first time in nearly three decades.
Now the Doncaster Free Press is set to play a starring role after producers contacted the paper asking for help in filling the shop – normally a hairdressing salon in Lister Avenue – with local products.
A newspaper delivery stand and bundle of papers were duly delivered to the set, with three days of exterior filming taking place at the shop in November.
The South Yorkshire newspaper understands that a key scene features Granville flicking through a newspaper – and so staff are keeping their fingers crossed he turns to his local read.
Free Press chief reporter Darren Burke, who has produced a number of online and print stories and web videos about the return of the show, told HTFP: “We were contacted by the producers and were more than happy to help out with a stand and newspapers to give the show an authentic Doncaster feel.
“There has been a lot of enthusiasm for the return of Open All Hours in Doncaster and we’ve been right behind the show since it was revealed it would be coming back.
“There will be a lot of people tuning in at Christmas to see if the Free Press features. Granville obviously knows a quality read when he sees one.”
An accompanying documentary, revealing how the show, penned by original writer Roy Clarke returned to screens, will also be shown over the festive period.
Studio filming has taken place in Salford with the finished show due to be screened at 7.45pm on BBC1 on Boxing Day.