Sir David Jason to return as Granville for new series of Still Open All Hours

Sir David Jason will reopen the doors of his convenience store for a third series of Still Open All Hours - but without nurse Gladys.

The actor, 76, has confirmed he will return as Granville for a new series and a 2016 Christmas special on BBC One.

But actress Lynda Baron, who played nurse Gladys Emmanuel in the original series and the spin-off, will not feature in the next series.

Still Open All Hours (BBC)
Still Open All Hours (BBC)

She said: "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."

The original show Open All Hours, which starred Sir David with late comic Ronnie Barker as stammering Albert Arkwright, ran from 1973 to 1985.

In the original show, Sir David played the put-upon helper and delivery boy who was referred to as the "young lad", despite him first playing the role when he was in his early 30s.

Sir David Jason and  Ronnie Barker (Ian West/PA)
Sir David Jason and Ronnie Barker (Ian West/PA)

Viewers saw irascible Arkwright forever trying to woo nurse Gladys whenever she popped into the shop.

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."

Lynda Baron in 2006
Lynda Baron in 2006 (Cathal McNaughton/PA)

Spin-off Still Open All Hours was a ratings hit after it was first broadcast in 2013, penned by original writer Roy Clarke.

The Christmas special will feature Granville and Gastric, played by Tim Healy, finding themselves playing marriage counsellors, while Leroy (James Baxter) adopts a festive disguise to avoid relationship trouble of a different kind.

The series also stars Stephanie Cole, Sally Lindsay, Maggie Ollerenshaw, Johnny Vegas, Kulvinder Ghir, Brigit Forsyth, Nina Wadia and Geoffrey Whitehead.

Executive producer Gareth Edwards said: "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."

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