Why my excitement for BBC’s Landmark Season is dwindling

Welcome readers, again this wasn’t going to be today’s intended topic but here we are. It seemed appropriate to return with a follow up to the last blogging instalment.

Last time I addressed those rumours that Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em could be returning as part of the BBC’s ‘Landmark Sitcom Season’ which is due to take pace next year. This was something I was very excited about. Now as the rumour net widens, that excitement appears to be fizzling out quicker than the spark in the fireworks you bought from Del Boy for Bonfire night.

This week we have been teased with many a tale of what Auntie is planning for this ‘landmark season,’ which is set to celebrate what historically the BBC has done best, situation comedy.

Over this period, one has read various stories of what we could be expecting. Some I have read with lukewarm reactions and the others, well let’s just say were greeted with a coldness not too dissimilar to how Patsy Stone describes Saffron Monsoon.

Let’s start with the lukewarm receptions for obvious reasons; Porridge. I read on twitter, via the radio times, that there is a plan to bring it back with Fletcher’s grandson doing time for computer hacking. Now a lot of people took to social media to ask the question, why fix something that isn’t broken? I do agree with this philosophy but this idea isn’t all that bad. It is basically Porridge for a new generation and we are bound to learn what happened to Norman Stanley Fletcher. My initial thought to this potential spin off was why when we have the original?  But as the week progressed I saw this as one of the better ideas, so long as they keep it fresh which is possible as it is bound to be updated for a modern day audience.

As the week went on the rumours got more and more disappointing, those of you who have read a few of my blogs or know me, will know that The Good Life holds a very special place in my heart and Keeping Up Appearances is another sitcom I am rather partial too. So when I saw these two little gems fall into the revival category I should have been as excited as when I read the Some Mothers rumours, but I wasn’t. While the idea of Hyacinth the prequel (as reported by the Telegraph) isn’t too bad, for me part of the beauty of Keeping Up Appearances was imagine what Hyacinth was like growing up and how she met Richard. I also get worried at the thought of anyone other than Patricia Rutledge playing her (memories of the stage version leap to the front of my mind).

Nothing has been said about the plans for The Good Life but with Penelope Keith and Felicity Kendal being the only ones with us I doubt they can do anything with it and I am not sure I would want them to. The Good Life for me is a little box of perfection, (apart from the odd continuity error in series two) it has no flaws that I can see. Bringing it back for half an hour, with Margo and Barbra sat on a sofa, say reminiscing about the good old days doesn’t cut it. Neither does a complete reboot, bringing it back with a new cast. As Penelope Keith has said, it probably wouldn’t work today, despite the show holding the test of time.  And there is no way I am standing for anyone other than Penelope Keith playing the greatest fictional character to have ever existed.

Like The Good Life and Keeping up Appearances, the other suggested shows to feature in this season all miss one key ingredient. Unfortunately, many of the stars which helped make these programmes the successes they originally were are no longer with us. How can you bring back Up Pompeii without Frankie Howerd? And Are You Being Served is missing a whole ray of its colourful characters that made the show stick in so many people’s minds.

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I don’t think The Good Life wouldn’t without half its original cast

While I love the idea of the occasional sitcom prequel I don’t think this is the best way to celebrate some of the best shows, which are currently tucked away in the BBC vaults, crying out to be shown again. I don’t shy away from the fact I don’t think the BBC makes sitcoms as they used to- for me the magic and the sparkle is no longer there and like we keep saying every time there is a prospect of a revival the magic of the original show is always in danger second time around.

So, for me the best way to celebrate these wonderful shows is to simply showcase them in all their original glory and let new audiences and generations discover them. And perhaps after that, if the BBC wishes throw in the odd making of drama, like what is speculated around Dad’s Army, (and hey, I am even game for a decently put together documentary all about the great British sitcom as defined by the BBC) then I will gladly accept that.

Though I will say this, I am still holding out a little flicker of hope for that Some Mothers does come back, out of all the rumours this is the only one which still has both its stars with us and in fine form, and if you ask me it has the most scope for a fresh stance compared with the other offering from the BBC. Personally, what could be a better way than to celebrate my favourite genre and shows than with the one which brought me to the Great British sitcom in the first place?

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Out of all the sitcom rumours Some Mothers is my favourite and only one I can see working

 

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Why a Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em revival would be brilliant

Welcome to my blogging comeback. I have to admit this post wasn’t going to be my grand re-entrance but when I heard the news I am about to discuss I had to dust off the laptop.

So, as I am sure you sitcom enthusiasts will have heard there are rumours running wild this week that Frank and Betty Spencer (Michael Crawford and Michele Dotrice) have been visiting dear old Auntie about the possibility of letting us back into their lives and seeing what they are up to four decades later. The rumours began after Michele Dotrice apparently ‘let slip’ in an interview with the Daily Mirror that she and Crawford are working together again next year. But of course in true showbiz fashion she can’t say too much. This then prompted the rumours of secret meetings at the BBC about bringing back this beloved sitcom.

I have to admit, while I am excited for the prospect of a possible return for the show that made me fall in love with sitcoms, I am somewhat sceptical about these rumours.

I’ve known for a while that my favourite fictional couple were openly looking for a new project to work on together, but they hadn’t been so keen on revisiting Betty and Frank.

However, I have another reason as to why I am so excited about the prospect of Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em returning. The show that made my Sundays as a child has recently made its own comeback into my life. At a party recently, I was introduced to someone who turns  out is also a massive Some Mothers fan, not something you usually find at an 18th birthday party.  It is safe to say a friendship was quickly established and we have already spent hours re-watching, discussing and quoting Frank. So it is quite apt that this news has come a few weeks later and exactly one week after we both went into meltdown after Betty herself, Michele Dotrice tweeted us. So, naturally she is our favourite person right now.

As I and many others have mentioned before, there is usually an initial excitement when a sitcom comeback is announced, followed by bitter disappointment at the result. However, I actually think Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em could surpass the latter element.

While To The Manor Born, Still Open All hours and all the rivals before them had scope, plenty of room for character development and decent back stories to cover during the time they had been off air, they failed to deliver. Compared to Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em; the examples above appear to me rather boxy. You can’t really find out much about Granville’s unseen escapades unless they are mentioned over the shop counter in passing and then they are only two second anecdotes. He still has the same job in the same street with some of the same characters. Nothing has really changed. It’s the same with the De Veres, before their wedding anniversary we last saw Audrey and Richard tying the knot, they were relatively normal characters and we all knew what would happen to them once Audrey got her hands back on her beloved manor and accepted that times were changing and old money was a thing of the past. They would more than likely live a comfortable, happy life together and that’s really what happened.

The last time we saw Frank and Betty they were waiting to hear from Australia House about their attempted visa application so they could join Frank’s long lost granddad in the land down under. Of course, we all knew Frank wouldn’t be accepted after the shambles of an interview and the interviewer’s attempted suicide, but he had all his eggs in one basket, he had promised Jessica her third Christmas would be in Oz. What would they do next? Betty hated their new house and Frank still hadn’t passed his driving test.

A bright future for the Spencers?: I would love to know what Frank & Betty did next

A bright future for the Spencers?: I would love to know what Frank & Betty did next

What about Jessica? How did she turn out? Did she inherit her mother’s patience and her sensibility? Or did she end up as accident prone as her father and her namesake; her grandmother? Did she marry and make Frank and Betty grandparents? Was she more successful than her mother and father?

Personally, I think this is the most exciting aspect of the prospect of a comeback. We all know the amazing stunts Crawford did wouldn’t be allowed to be done today; my Gran was only saying so last night. So, what about if Frank handed down his beloved beret to the apple of his eye and Jessica became the new star of the show? We could see Frank and Betty dropping in and depending how she turned out saving their daughter from ‘harassments.’

That way we could have the physicality that made the original series so unique and very funny, without having to worry that Michael Crawford and his stunts were ‘looking tired and forced.’ Perhaps the BBC could let him do a few minor stunts? If his enthusiasm during his stint in the Wizard of OZ showed, he was still very much game for anything physical (Andrew Lloyd Webber missed out vetoing that one).

Having Jessica at the helm would also answer questions like did Frank and Betty have any more children? Did they have little Frank junior who grew up to be just like his dad? Did Frank ever manage to hold down a job and support his wife and child? How would he cope in a world of Twitter and technology? Did Frank ever manage to get his wife that fur coat he longed to buy her? Perhaps his tendencies to fall over and cause havoc made him a youtube star. Did Betty ever have enough of Frank’s failures and leave him like she claimed she might have to do in ‘Have a Break, Take a Husband?’ As well as exploring the character of Jessica Spencer and how her life turned out.

While of course, like its predecessors who have all made comebacks before, it does run the risk of losing a touch of its original magic, nothing can take away the brilliance of the original series. And with the stars of the show clearly still very good friends, I doubt their spark will have been extinguished.

So while the prospect of being offered the chance to (try and) keep up with the Spencers delights my eight year old self and the 21-year-old obsessive I have become, I am just happy at the thought that my original sitcom heroes appear to be working together again, and whatever that might be; “I’m excited Betty.”

Standing the test of time: Some Mothers has provided one with hours of laughs, i hope more are to come

Standing the test of time: Some Mothers has provided one with hours of laughs, i hope more are to come

See the original story published by ‘The Mirror’ here: http://www.mirror.co.uk/tv/tv-news/bbc-could-revive-sitcom-hero-6569131

The Mail claim Crawford and Dotrice are in talks with BBC bosses

The Mail claim Crawford and Dotrice are in talks with BBC bosses

In the audience of Still Open All Hours

I don’t know if you, dear reader remember or have followed my blog from the very beginning but my first ever blog post was about how a popular tabloid reported that there would be no full series following the one off special of Still Open All Hours we saw last Boxing Day.

Well here we are and not so long ago the Beeb commissioned a six part series and filming is well underway. What’s more is I was lucky enough to get to see the penultimate episode being filmed last Friday and I want to tell you all about it. Without giving much of the plot away I promise!

I know the beauty of a blog like this is I get to share and you get to experience one’s personal adventures but I will do my upmost not to make it sound too much like a dull ‘What I Did on my Holidays’ piece.

I am sure you understand this was a very exciting thing for a huge lover of the Great British sitcom, though my sister, being a huge fan of Sir David Jason was probably a lot more excited than myself.  It was also a very daunting one for me because, while I am not (that) stupid and as much as wish it was true I am well aware these sitcoms aren’t real. Even so, while I was queuing up outside Teddington Studios I was worried that by seeing the fifth episode of Still Open All Hours being filmed some of that sitcom magic would be lost to me forever.

Another thing that also worried me was while I am a fan of Roy Clarke and his work, I rarely find his material ‘laugh out loud hilarious’ and I would fail to do the vital thing the audience member is there for- to provide the laughter.

As Teddington is a long way from where I live (about a three hour drive), we set off early and were able to spend the morning and early afternoon walking along the canal and in the pub before we went to join the queue at half past three, which was nice-Teddington is rather a lovely part of London.

The lady on reception recommended lining up at half past four but as they allocate more tickets than seats and as we had come all this way we could not afford to miss the cut off.

I have been in a queue for a BBC recording before, so I expected the waiting time to drag out, especially in mid November but luckily for us it didn’t. Once our tickets were validated we were soon ushered into the old canteen where the next part of our wait began.

Tickets please: my ticket for the recording complete with the BBC authentication- a sticker!

Tickets please: my ticket for the recording complete with the BBC authentication- a sticker!

Lining up early paid off as we were on the second row right in the middle (we would have been on the front row if it wasn’t for some queue jumpers!) Walking into the studio it was then I realised how special this place really was.

Along the corridor were stills of some of the greatest sitcoms, comedy shows and entertainers who had all filmed here-everything from Morecambe and Wise to My Family.

It was in fact as you can probably predict the picture of Nicholas Lyndhurst and Dervla Kirwan in Goodnight Sweetheart that got me excited about where I was and what I was about to experience.

I really should have guessed it was a very special place when we were waiting outside because there were blue heritage plaques honouring the late great talents of the comedy world.

This is bound to sound really corny but when we were escorted to studio one and you saw the interior of the iconic Arkwright’s corner shop set out you really could feel the magic and the ghosts of sitcom past breezing past you. It really did make the hairs on the back of my next stand up on end.

Which makes it even more heartbreaking that soon these historic studios will be demolished to make way for new state of the art flats.

The Teddington laughter factory: where the magic of some of the countries greatest comedies was made

The Teddington laughter factory: where the magic of some of the countries greatest comedies was made

Having seen the Command Performance of The Good Life no end of times, I was fairly familiar with the setup of filming a situation comedy but I had no idea just how many people it took to create the half hour episode.  Even the fact the director (Dewi Humphreys) sits upstairs and watches the action from a monitor was something new to me.

The first person we were introduced to was the floor manager, Julie who welcomed us and explained what would happen during the evenings recording. She then passed us over to Bobby Bragg the warm up artist, who would guide us through the evening and make sure we didn’t loose interest. How could we though? Every aspect of the recording was fascinating.

I have to say Bobby was such a pro and is seriously as funny (if not funnier) as/than some of the stand up comics I have paid to see.  In fact on several occasions he had made us laugh so much when the crew were ready for another take the audience weren’t ready, it was really hard to suppress the laughter when he ‘thought out loud’ about how he wondered if Floor Manager Julie would want to participate in the break up of his marriage. I don’t think I have seen a comedian deliver jokes with the same cheeky chappy manner Bobby did.

Anyway back to Still Open All Hours- seen as that is why I assume you are here (I ssincerely hope it is anyway).

As I said earlier I really don’t want to give anything away about the episode, we were provided with a cast list and summary of the show and episode five, which gave the audience some context surrounding the episode, it doesn’t give much away so I feel it is safe to share with you fellow blog readers what it said:

“Episode 5- Granville has bought a job lot of bargain stock but needs a clever plan to sell it all and the visiting salesman gives him an idea. Meanwhile, Gastric has an interesting heirloom and Eric is not getting on with his wife so seeks emergency romantic help from young Leroy.”

It all started to feel very real when we spotted David Jason warming up through the shop window (the smile on my sister’s face at this point made my entire day) before we were formally introduced to the cast.

In the studio that night, along with Sir David Jason were:  James Baxter as Leroy, Maggie Ollerenshaw as Mavis, Brigit Forsyth as Madge, Johnny Vegas as Eric, Tim Healy as Gastric, Kulvinder Ghir as Cyril and Mark Williams as Salesman. While Lynda Barron and Stephanie Cole were also billed for that night’s episode they only featured on VT footage which was a bit of a shame, what with me being a 90’s child and brought up on Auntie Mabel (Lynda Barron) and her trusty dog Pippin, it would have been nice to see her in the flesh. I recall the same occurred in the Boxing Day special so it might be a sign of things to come. I hope not as I want to see them stepping foot into Arkwright’s corner shop once more.

Programme pretext: the synopsis and cast list we were given

Programme pretext: the synopsis and cast list we were given

Surprisingly, I laughed in all the right places and the jokes and all the lines were delivered brilliantly. So my worrying was all for nothing (story of my life).

However, due to the use of a lot of props and the scenes were described by Bobby as ‘technical’ there were more scene retakes than pickups. This of course meant that by the fourth take or so the joke was no longer as funny as the first time you heard it, so I felt my laughter became more feeble and forced.

Which thinking about it is how myself as a viewer sometimes judges the joke- through the live studio audience’s reaction to it. Completely forgetting unlike myself that probably isn’t the first time they have heard that particular gag.

Like when you go to the theatre or see a sitcom at home, I found that despite the cameras and the microphones that would sometimes obstruct my view (thank god for the big screens), it was like I was there sitting inside Arkwright’s corner shop, being part of the action and that felt fantastic!

Of course the studio audience was brought back to reality with a bump and a giggle when a member of the cast fluffed a line, forgot a line or corpsed. David Jason in particular handled this in the best possible sprits, the way he laughed with the audience or did something funny with the props at us before the take made us feel like a huge part of the show.

Comic legends Johnny Vegas, Tim Healy and Mark Williams also never failed to keep us entertained either and from what I saw of their slightly whacky characters, they are an asset to the programme, as is the character of Leroy who plays Granville’s son. James Baxter and David Jason had a great rapport both while the cameras were rolling and when they weren’t.

The filming lasted two and a quarter hours overall. After each take there were a couple of scenes that everyone felt would take forever to master as they never seemed to get them quite right for various reasons, but of course they did it and it was splendid. Like most sitcoms the opening scene was on film and the next scene was in the studio, and this sequence is repeated all the way through until the final VT shows the closing credits of the episode.

I will be sure to come back and report on the episode when it has been aired, I am looking forward to seeing what bits they use and how they put it all together.

Also I know this blog won’t have done my experience of seeing a real live sitcom being filmed (says a lot for a wannabe writer I know) but seriously if you get the opportunity to see a sitcom being filmed do- there is nothing quite like it and I promise you there will be barrels of fun and laughter!

So there is one question left to be answered- will the new series be any good?

You want my Answer?  From what I have seen so far of the Still Open All Hours series, I honestly think it will be a good un! Everone, cast and crew deserve a huge pat on the back and a traditional end of sitcom applause. Thank you for having me BBC, that is something else ticked off the bucket list!

I am already seeing what sitcom I can apply to see next!

Smiles all round: Still Open All Hours will be a success on mine and my sister's (pictured) watches

Smiles all round: Still Open All Hours will be a success on mine and my sister’s (pictured) watches

 

 

How honours for seventies sitcom stars show the importance of their shows today

On Friday (7 March), the actors who play my two favourite sitcom, okay fictional characters, (and two of my favourite stars) were recognised by the queen not only for their long and versatile involvement and contribution to the British entertainment industry but also for their dedicated charity work.
I am of course talking about the newly appointed Dame Penelope Keith and Michael Crawford CBE.

Favourite sitcom stars received honours on Friday

Favourite sitcom stars received honours on Friday

As they play my two favourite fictional characters of all time, Margo Leadbetter and Frank Spencer I couldn’t really resist blogging my excitement about this. I remember when the New Year’s honour’s list was announced; my dad came into my room and told me about the awards Ms. Keith and Mr. Crawford had been given, I actually squealed somewhat. I know, it is hard to believe I am 19, I should be squealing at the latest teenage popband craze and their announcement of a new tour. Not the fact the queen is honouring two actors in their early 70’s (How good do they both look on it though?).
As always when writing a blog entry I try to look for an angle to focus on instead of just broadly discussing a particular sitcom or actor. I think it is the journalism student within me.  It would be so easy just the reiterate in my own words what the papers have published in the last two days regarding this event but let’s face it that would be boring. I’ll be honest with you; it wasn’t until I actually begin this spur of the moment article that I found an angle.
And that is this, all the coverage online, on TV and in the papers have begun their reports with words to the effect of ‘Queen honours Margo (it was so nice to see since the honours list was announced the Daily Mail has learnt to spell Margo correctly, omitting the ‘t’, a real pet peeve of mine when it is left in) and Frank Spencer’. Of course we all know it isn’t really those wonderful characters receiving such prestigious titles but it goes to show even now some 35-40 years later the country still remembers rather fondly those characters. For me, it shows that 1970’s sitcoms still are just as important and popular today, what with endless repeats on the BBC and GOLD. Not only is it those people like my mum who grew up on the Good Life and Some Mother’s Do Ave Em but people like me who discover them either through their parent’s love of the show or by their own accord. They make people laugh in a way not many sitcoms do nowadays, they don’t insult the audience’s intelligence, and they aren’t crude for the sake of being crude in a bid to get a laugh. But above all it was the fine body of actors and actresses who were a part of these brilliant shows that have ensured that they are timeless.
People that know me will know I could spend age’s wittering on and exaggerating the fact just how much I admire people like Michael Crawford and Penelope Keith, it was Some Mother’s that I spend my entire primary school days watching and gave me the comfort and assurance that moving to secondary school would be okay. It was watching endless reruns of the Good Life on GOLD that got me through GCSE revision (okay, I may well have done better in those exams if I hadn’t become so obsessed).
I have found that seventies sitcom stars seem to have this talent at beautifully creating these outrageous wacky, insane but above all believable characters that could so easily be unlikeable but instead you fall instantly for their charms and take them in as if they were one of the family.
It is Crawford’s Spencer I turn to whenever I feel like I am the world’s biggest failure; Frank allows me to laugh off my mistakes and encourages me to keep on trying as it is not the end of the world if I do something wrong. He also gives me hope as if he can stay blissfully married and make a go of life despite the fact that everything he touches turns into a disaster, that then perhaps there is really no such thing as a failure in life.

“I’m a success”: Michael Crawford receives his CBE from Her Majesty

It is Margo I go to whenever I want to escape from reality, the way Ms. Keith plays Margo as someone so snobby but so vulnerable due to her lack of humour, allows you to forget your troubles and that worry about how other people perceive your issues. As here you quickly latch on to the Good’s current dilemma and laugh at the way Margo, sometimes rather foolishly views it.

There's nothing like a dame: Penelope Keith is made a dame by the Queen

There’s nothing like a dame: Penelope Keith is made a dame by the Queen

Of course, that is what I find magical about the world of sitcom (especially those made in the 70’s), for me it is the only genre of television that really offers you a chance to escape your issues or worries and by witnessing the disasters of the likes of Frank Spencer or the social misfortunes of Margo Leadbetter, you know that however big or small your worries are things will be okay in the end. If Frank can still stand with that impish grin spread across his face at the end of each episode then it proves you are not indestructible.
So, while the country is celebrating the well deserved achievements of two of our most loved national treasures lets also celebrate the joys of the seventies sitcom and their importance even today.

Owen Newitt’s Greatest Moments

The passing of sitcom legend Roger Lloyd-Pack last month has seen all sitcom fans unite in shock to celebrate the actor’s finest moments as Trigger in ‘Only Fools and Horses’. With GOLD dedicating an only fools weekend in his honour, it got me thinking. Just how much more I preferred Mr Lloyd-Pack’s finest sitcom hour was as the outrageous, controversial but loveable Owen Newitt in ‘The Vicar of Dibley’.
In this blog after re-watching one of my favourite sitcoms I have compelled my top five Owen moments, in no particular order:
1. Owen; the film maker. In the episode Love and Marriage, Owen takes his job of recording Alice and Hugo’s wedding to the extreme. I just love how Roger Lloyd-Pack is able to portray that childlike excitement throughout about anything new, which is always believable. This really comes across in this episode as he chooses to film the Tinker’s wedding in an epic blockbuster way, hanging off the church ceiling, in hope of capturing the best action. Another example of his schoolboy bright ideas of ensuring a wedding is one to remember is when the vicar gets married, Owen genuinely believes that the best wedding present he can give her is explosives as she walks down the aisle.
2. The talent show: When a group of village lunatics get together to put on a village talent show you know it is going to end in comedy gold. Of course Owen being Owen chooses to showcase a farting duck, what is funny is not the actual duck breaking wind but the fact it is loved by all the villagers. That however, is not my favourite Owen Newitt moment in the Celebrity Vicar, it is Owen’s reaction to Frank’s dull impressions, telling David “I’ve got my shot-gun in the back” and his heckling is great as it shows as stupid as Owen can be he is more than prepared to tell Frank straight what everybody is thinking.
3. His controversial ‘love’ for his animals: Owen can be seen as a stereotypical country farmer, in that he clearly cares for his animals more than he should, it seems the more outrageous anecdotes he gives at the Dibley Parish Council meetings the funnier this ongoing joke gets. My favourite is in Merry Christmas where he declares that finding out the Vicar isn’t gay is the “best news since they made having sex with animals legal again”. Just the way the line is delivered makes me howl with laughter and of course it is made to be even funnier when he is told “They haven’t made having sex with animals legal again”.
4. Pursuing the Vicar: part of the running joke is that Owen is unlucky in love and constantly tries to ‘woo’ the vicar. Despite his clear lack of hygiene concerns as mentioned his excess ‘love’ for his livestock; he still firmly believes he is in with a chance. My favourite example of this has to come from the episode Engagement when he admits to Geraldine that he has never been kissed properly. So being the kind-hearted woman she is the Vicar allows him to kiss her, regrettably. I find the way Roger Lloyd-Pack makes Owen slightly sympathetic before the kiss a great touch as it makes the farmer more believable but how the comedy value is upped right after that snog is just perfect. All he says is that he was trying to get that bit of pork out of his teeth for week, quickly reminding the viewers there is a reason why no woman has kissed the farmer with terrible hygiene before. The fine line between sympathy and cringe is reaffirmed, only it occurs the other way Round. Later on in the episode when Owen calls back at the vicarage with one of the Vicar’s fillings, which he would have brought back earlier but he’s “only just passed it”, and the fact that it has made him realise that he wants to get married, to none other but the Vicar who doesn’t realise the seriousness of the proposal. In a strange way you do, as the audience feel sorry for Owen as he “Can’t offer her much” but he informs her very unromantic way that he would take care of her and if she says yes it would make him “the happiest man in the world”. Luckily for the vicar Owen isn’t too downhearted about her rejection when he declares that he couldn’t marry a woman who drinks.

Owen never did give up on pursuing the vicar

Owen never did give up on pursuing the vicar

5. Owen at Christmas: The Vicar of Dibley always produces some of the finest sitcom Christmas specials so it is hard to choose between them. However, my favourite special and some of the finest ‘Owen moments’ come from the episode Merry Christmas. My favourites from this episode are Owen’s entry for the Christmas carol competition where he aims to “Delight and surprise” by penning; “Jesus was born on Christmas day, hallelujah, hallelujah but he never got his end away, hallelujah.” And of course Owen and Jim’s thoughtful anniversary present to the vicar being a chocolate baby Jesus, persuading the vicar it is alright to eat a “chubby choccy baby Jesus finger” and that it should be fine to eat baby Jesus as he is eaten in wafer form every Sunday.

There are many more of Owen’s greatest moments, the wonderful thing about Roger Lloyd-Pack was whenever Owen walked into the room you instantly knew this disgusting, foul-mouthed lovable farmer who always meant well would make you laugh.

God bless you sir, you will be truly missed.

What’s your favourite Owen Newitt moment? Feel free to comment and share below.

Owen with fellow villagers Frank and Jim

Owen with fellow villagers Frank and Jim

 

Granville Opens for Business

About a week ago, I posted that the Daily Mirror had reported that there was to be no more antics, trials and tribulations from everyone’s favourite Doncaster local shop.

Well, good news folks the BBC, yesterday confirmed that a six part series has been commissioned.

The BBC haven’t yet spoke of when the show will be back, other than later in the year and Roy Clarke is keeping mum about the plots but is ‘delighted’ to be bringing the show back.

David Jason who plays Granville told the BBC: “I am so delighted that we are doing a series of Still Open All Hours as the feedback from our Christmas special has been so rewarding and encouraging. We want to have more fun giving the audience the kind of show they seemed to appreciate. It goes to prove that the corner shop is still open all hours.”

With a carefully crafted script and good acting, I think the enjoyable, cosy comedy could be something special and nostalgic. I for one am looking forward to the end product and seeing how it compares (or differs) to the original. And of course how they will develop from the pilot.

Granville will don his trusty brown overall once more

Granville will don his trusty brown overall once more

Still Open All Hours faces c-c-c-closing time?

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This gallery contains 3 photos.

I was really surprised to read this morning that the Daily Mirror reported that the highly anticipated Still Open All Hours won’t be made into a full series. While it was different to the original series which first opened its … Continue reading