Sir David Jason is set to return as shopkeeper Granville in a third series of Still Open All Hours and a Christmas special, BBC comedy bosses confirmed today.
The TV legend revived his character from comedy classic Open All Hours in 2013 with a one-off special which was such hit the broadcaster soon announced a full series would follow.
Location filming will begin in the next few weeks, with studio filming to being carried out in October.
The series opens with a Christmas special where Granville and Gastric (Tim Healy) find themselves playing marriage counsellors, whilst Leroy (James Baxter) adopts a festive disguise to avoid relationship trouble of a different kind.
Meanwhile, Mrs Featherstone (Stephanie Cole) struggles to get into the Christmas spirit and Kath (Sally Lindsay) attempts to bring the street together as one harmonious choir of carollers and beat Finkle Street once and for all – but does Granville have a trick up his sleeve to help them out?
They will be joined by series regulars Maggie Ollerenshaw as the love of Granville’s life, Mavis, plus Johnny Vegas as Eric, Kulvinder Ghir as Cyril, Brigit Forsyth as Madge, Nina Wadia as Mrs Hussein and Geoffrey Whitehead as Mr Newbold.
On returning to one of his most famous roles, Sir David said “I can’t wait for viewers to see the scrapes Granville gets into this series, almost as much as I can’t wait to start filming them.
“Roy Clarke has once again written seven fantastically warm, funny and inventive scripts, full of the humour and eccentric characters that the nation has come to love over the years.”
The BBC has announced that Lynda Baron – Nurse Gladys – will not appear this season due to scheulding problems.
“I was thrilled by the huge success of Still Open All Hours and was very happy to be a part of it,” said the actress.
“However this year it just isn’t possible to fit it in with my schedule. I am disappointed not least because it is beyond doubt the nicest cast and crew a girl could wish for.
“There are as many laughs off the set as there are on. Long may they stay Open All Hours.”
Executive Producer Gareth Edwards said: “I continue to be bowled over by the incredible audience response to Still Open All Hours, so it’s a real pleasure to welcome the series back to BBC One.
“The opening Christmas special is our most festive yet, and the wonderful mind of Roy Clarke has conjured up many more eccentric, classic adventures for Granville and the gang over the series.”