Open All Night

This has no links to Open All Hours apparently.

That theme tune …

Open All Night, was created by Tom Patchett and Jay Tarses for ABC, and aired for 10 episodes (2 never aired) beginning in November 1981. Letterman appeared on one episode.

The Tenuous Link Between Open All Hours And Red Dwarf

You’ll recognise this hair salon on Lister Avenue* in Balby, Doncaster. It’s the location for Arkwright’s in Open All Hours and Still Open All Hours.

Fetch yer cloth, Granville

It seems like such an odd place for a shop, but Albert Arkwright knew what he was doing … it’s the only retail space around hundreds of homes.

Swing the camera round and you see this.

That must be where they put the crane for the famous overhead shots.

Wonder how the residents feel about the filming, even after all these years.

*Told you it was tenuous.

The Ronnie Barker Advertisement Collection

In 1978 Ronnie Barker made three adverts for Sekonda. The split screen work in this one is excellent.

This one achieves the same effect without any optical work, just good editing, and convincing stand-ins.

While this one features Vicki Michelle.

A year later, and Ronnie teamed up with Ronnie to flog us badly made motor cars.

This one has such a bizarre ending.

Six years later, and he was alone again, this time selling us Walkers Crisps.

With some more really good split screen work (bar the one terrible shot).

I can’t help thinking that this one might be the inspiration for Harry Enfield’s rich Brummie character …

He did another one in the style of his desk pieces from The Two Ronnies too.

Around this time he was part of the Castella cigar campaign, you know the ones that also featured David Jason and the man in an all over body cast?

Not sure when this one was, but it seems to be around the time that beer adverts were all about impotence and ‘brewer’s droop’.

Together again, the Two Rons wanted us to rent cars in 86-87. This one reminds me of Vic & Bob, and also, they must have actually done that roundabout gag.

Here’s a shorter, less interesting one.

Which has been excised from this longer version, with foreshadows of Ron Manager …

And this one has a few echoes of Keeping Up Appearances about it.

Enough cars. Having retired in December of 1987, this advert came out in 1988. Maybe he filmed it before retiring. It’s an odd choice to set an Alpen advert in this time period, though the gags are well executed, and his performances are great.

In 1999 Barker lent his voice to this Corbett Pizza Hut ad.

Before he popped up in this one a few years later.

I don’t doubt that I’ve missed some, so let me know what else Barker did.

Raiders Of The Lost Orange

I used to love this advert as a kid, and I still do, but part of me wants to redo the music with The Raiders March.

Also, they missed a trick, and the boulder at the end should have been a giant chocolate orange.

It’s hard not to think of Patrick Troughton when watching it too, but that’s actually John Ringham. This continues our comedy connections from yesterday, because he’s appeared in all sorts of sitcoms, including Just Good Friends, Are You Being Served?, Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em, and The Piglet Files.

Terry’s would later continue their comedy links, with this equally well-remembered campaign.

The Wispa Comedy Archive

I often forget that the Wispa bar was launched in my lifetime, because it seems like it has always been there. Unlike the Fuse bar, which needs to make a comeback soon. Apparently, and this bothers me that I didn’t notice it, the Wispa was discontinued between 2003 and 2008. What?

Anyway, here’s part of an early marketing campaign for the bar.

I would’ve bet money that this was made by Talkback (but it was actually Young & Rubicam), and was in the midst of Alas, Smith & Jones, so why not use the more familiar look? You know, like this.

Back to Wispas though, and they branched off a bit as the campaign went on.

Mel Smith would have made a good interviewer for Sir Arthur Streeb-Greebling.

But the answer to the question, why not utilise Smith & Jones in the their more recognised format is that the whole campaign was conceived of as Duos.

To wit, two famous people would be shot on a plain background, one more knowledgeable than the other about Wispas, with witty dialogue. Thus, the campaign kicked off with these two, at the height of their Hi-De-Hi fame.

The campaign unfolded further with these two.

Love the Watergate joke

I can’t find the third pairing of the first phase to show you, but it was Windsor Davis and Michael Knowles from It Ain’t Half Hot Mum.

This strategy proved to be effective, and the second phase went with three different duos. Namely, Smith & Jones, but also … Wood & Walters (though, again, I can’t find a clip), as well as, incongruously considering the sitcom, sketch motif, these two.

We also got to see these two.

There was a Shoestring one …

A Just Good Friends one.

And a The Sweeney one.