From the vault: ‘Open All Hours’ – the 1973 pilot

I may be in the minority here, but one of my most favorite British situation comedies of all-time is Open All Hours. Written by Roy Clarke (Last of the Summer Wine, Keeping Up Appearances) and starring comedy legends Ronnie Barker and David Jason, Open All Hours ‘premiered’ in 1973 as a last-minute addition to Barker’s comedy anthology series, Seven […]

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The Bucket residence, the Dame of the House speaking….

For numerous reasons, I’m quite ready to let go of 2016, no questions asked. 2017 has started off brilliantly, however, with the news that Chichester’s own Patricia Routledge would be among the Queen’s New Year Honors being awarded DBE for her services to theatre and charity. A long-time passionate supporter of the arts who has enjoyed a lengthy relationship […]

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‘Young Hyacinth’ discusses who would be her ‘Young Richard’

Young Hyacinth premiered last week as part of the BBC’s Landmark Sitcom Season along with other ‘tip-of-the-hat’ specials including Goodnight Sweetheart, Porridge and Are You Being Served?. Having now had the opportunity to be able to screen all of them, I thought the Keeping Up Appearances prequel starring Kerry Howard worked exceptionally well. Even though the one-off was brilliantly written by […]

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So that’s how Hyacinth could afford a slim line telephone with automatic redial….

In today’s overloaded commercial environment, no one gives it a second thought when they encounter celebrity spokespeople appearing in adverts for their favorite whatever. What doesn’t immediately come to mind are commercials that feature the character that an actor portrays. The only recent example that seems to follow this concept features the perfect pitchman, Modern Family‘s Phil Dunphy, […]

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Classic ‘lost’ sitcoms become part of BBC tribute to comedy

There has been quite a bit of chatter the last several weeks about the one-off reboots of Are You Being Served, Keeping Up Appearances, Porridge and Goodnight Sweetheart as part of the forthcoming Landmark Sitcom Season on the BBC. While both the AYBS one-off, which takes the staff of Grace Brothers Department Store and places them in the late 80s, […]

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London’s Grace Brothers Department Store set to re-open after 30+ years

While it’s been more than three decades since we last were able to walk into the retail ladies’ and gentlemen’s clothing department of London’s Grace Brothers department store, the doors appear ready to re-open in the not-too-distant future. The classic BBC comedy series, which ran from 1971 to 1985, is set for a re-boot as part […]

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First glimpse of ‘Young Hyacinth’ set for September on BBC

If nothing else, Young Hyacinth, the forthcoming BBC prequel to the classic Roy Clarke series, Keeping Up Appearances, will give audiences a bit of insight as to how a 19-year-old Hyacinth from humble beginnings turned into an over-bearing, social-climbing snob with a penchant for slimline telephones with automatic redial, Royal Doulton china with hand-painted periwinkles, candlelight suppers. In […]

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Gareth Gwenlan, British television producer/director, dies at 79.

Gareth Gwenlan, a name you may not be familiar with but whose work you have seen and enjoyed for decades on countless British situation comedies, has died at age 79. Gwenlan, who joined the BBC Comedy department in 1967 as a producer, helped create some of the world’s most beloved British sitcoms, notably The Fall And Rise […]

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