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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ITV to put ‘Birds of a Feather’ one-off in your 2016 Christmas stocking

In keeping with the BBC’s tradition in 2016 of reviving and/or rebooting classic comedy series (i.e. Young Hyacinth, Are You Being Served, Goodnight Sweetheart, Porridge, Cold Feet) comes news that ITV will turn to the classic 90s BBC sitcom, Birds of a Feather for a Christmas treat for viewers. It was ITV the brought back the popular […]

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Parole denied as BBC grants more helpings of ‘Porridge’

The BBC has commissioned a full 6-part series of Porridge, the situation comedy series which will see Kevin Bishop return as Nigel ‘Fletch’ Fletcher, grandson of Ronnie Barker’s iconic character Norman Stanley Fletcher. The original series, which aired on the BBC in the mid-70s, featured Barker as an inmate in the fictional HMP Slade in Cumberland. “Doing porridge” is British […]

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Closed temporarily, ‘Still Open All Hours’ set to re-open just in time for Christmas

Still Open All Hours, the sequel to the iconic BBC sitcom Open All Hours, which originally ran from 1973 to 1985, will return later this year for a Christmas special one-off followed by a third series with a targeted transmission date of January 2017. Starring original OAH cast members, David Jason, Lynda Baron, Stephanie Cole and Maggie Ollerenshaw, Still Open All Hours is written by […]

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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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“Motherland” shows promise amidst BBC’s ‘year of the reboot’

Buried smack dab in the middle of the current sitcom reboot/remake/prequel overload comes a really promising new comedy pilot offering airing tonight at 10p on BBC2. Motherland, starring Anna Maxwell-Martin (Bletchley Circle, Death Comes to Pemberley, And Then There Were None), Lucy Punch (Doc Martin, Hot Fuzz), Diane Morgan (Mock the Week, Mount Pleasant) and Paul Ready […]

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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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First look at new ‘Porridge’ 2016 special

Porridge, the early 70s British sitcom starring Ronnie Barker, Richard Beckinsale, Fulton Mackay and Brian Wilde, is being re-made as part of the BBC’s 60th anniversary of comedy celebration, the Landmark Sitcom Season, beginning this Fall. Barker starred as habitual criminal, Norman Stanley Fletcher. “Fletch” shares his cell with young Lennie Godber, a first time inmate upon whom he imparts his […]

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