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Customer Review

41 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ronnie as Clarence & Arkwright is superb!!, 26 Jun. 2007
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This review is from: The Ultimate Ronnie Barker Collection : Seven Of One / Porridge / Going Straight / Open All Hours / Clarence / The Magnificent Evans (12 Disc BBC Box Set) [DVD] (DVD)
An excellent collection. I've been a Ronnie Barker fan for years and jumped at the chance to buy this set.

I remember Open All Hours from when it was originally shown on Australian TV. Ronnie makes stuttering Arkwright one of the best comedy characters ever seen on TV. A very young David Jason proved the perfect foil for Ronnie's penny-pinching Arkwright. Brief aside here - why does a lot of David's early work (Porridge, Doctor In The House) entail him portraying old men? Strange that!

I've never been a fan of Porridge, but found I really enjoyed Going Straight (which I could not remember seeing on TV). Fletcher having to cope with life on the outside made him an even funnier character than that portrayed in Porridge. A very young Nicholas Lyndhurst was an added bonus.

Clarence was sublime!! I've been after this series for years. Ronnie and Josephine Tewson really sparked together. Pity only one series was ever made. This series alone was almost worth the purchase price of the whole set.

I enjoyed The Magnificent Evans and Seven Of One but unfortunately they could not compete with the brilliance of OAH and Clarence.

These comedies walk all over American comedies. The Brits (especially Ronnie) do it best!!

So where's the complete Two Ronnies set? I cannot believe one of the best comedy series ever made has not yet been released on DVD!!!! Series one release is NOT enough!
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 10 Oct 2008 14:35:13 BDT
BravoBaroque says:
Hello there Shane,
I thought you might like to know that the reason there is no more Clarence (than the 1st series) is that by the end of it poor Ronnie was too ill to do any nore TV work,and retired to an antique shop in the Cotswolds.
I think he came back for an odd Christmas show or two? but nothing more until The Two Ronnies Sketchbook not long before he died,he looked very ill while presenting that.

This is from Wikipedia "Sadly, this(The Two Ronniess Sketchbook) was to prove Barker's final television work. He appeared frail and had lost a lot of weight, and it later became clear that he had been very unwell with a heart condition whilst filming the show. However, he was determined to record one final Christmas special of The Two Ronnies, and so, on 5 July 2005, The Two Ronnies Christmas Sketchbook was recorded. It was broadcast on Christmas Day of the same year, two months after Barker's death (Ronnie Corbett paid tribute to him in a specially recorded introduction to the show), and saw the pair introduce their favourite sketches from their Christmas shows. Again, the show was a rousing success, and - with 7.93 million viewers - was the fourth most watched programme on Christmas Day"

Oddly,last year I bumped into Josephine Tewson at a concert.When I said that Clarence was my favourite,she admitted it was hers and Ronnie's too.

In reply to an earlier post on 25 Nov 2010 16:05:55 GMT
Chris says:
I echo the comment in the review about the 2 ronnies, and I have By the sea and the picnic on video and it is at least as funny as Open all Hours and Porridge, although very different. But one of his finest roles, in my view, was as David Inches, butler to Winston Churchill, in the Gathering Storm - showing that Ronnie Barker wasn't a comic, but a comedy actor, and a fine actor at that.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Dec 2013 00:46:39 GMT
randomtime says:
i have just watched the new open all hours with david as the main shop owner, it has all the original shop customers catch it on bbci player it is great with plenty of winks to ronnie in it, i hope they make it into a new show
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