Steptoe and Son

BBC (ended 1974)
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  • Episode Guide
  • S 8 : Ep 8

    Christmas Special 1974 (a.k.a. A Perfect Christmas)

    Aired 12/26/74

  • S 8 : Ep 7

    Christmas Special 1973

    Aired 12/24/73

  • S 8 : Ep 6

    Seance in a Wet Rag and Bone Yard

    Aired 10/10/74

  • S 8 : Ep 5

    Upstairs, Downstairs, Upstairs, Downstairs

    Aired 10/3/74

  • S 8 : Ep 4

    The Seven Steptoerai

    Aired 9/25/74

  • Cast & Crew
  • Harry H Corbett

    Harold Steptoe

  • Wilfrid Brambell

    Albert Steptoe

  • John Anderson (I)

  • Robert Webber

  • Joanna Lumley

    Bunty

  • show Description
  • Welcome to the Steptoe and Son guide at TV.com. One of the all time classics of British TV comedy. After the writers Alan Galton and Ray Simpson had finished writing for Tony Hancock, they were commissioned by the BBC to write seven individual plays for a series called ‘Comedy Playhouse'. One was named ‘The Offer' .which has lived on while the others have long been forgotten. The Offer consisted of Albert and Harold Steptoe, a father and son who have a love-hate relationship who are in the rag and bone trade or what is now commonly known now as junk men. Albert is always putting Harold down about his lifestyle, and the girls he dates. Albert is right wing tory, while Harold is old school labour. Albert turns out to be better at everything that Harold takes up. From Chess to Scrabble to Badminton, Harold starts out enthusiastically only to find out that his dad is able to beat him comfortably. The casting turns to be just about perfect. Two relatively unknown actors were cast. Harry H Corbett as Harold, and Wilfrid Brambell as Albert. After the first series the BBC realised that they had hit upon a gold mine. Steptoe and Son as the series was to be called ran for eight series, and it just got better and better Some of the best episodes come to mind, ‘ The Piano' where a customer tries to get Harold to move a piano from a penthouse apartment, ‘The Bath' where Harold turfs Albert out of his bedroom so he can install a bath, ‘A Musical Evening' in which the two of them have a pitched battle over their musical tastes., The Bond That Binds Us' where Albert after trying for years finally wins a £1000 on the premium bonds, ‘The Siege of Steptoe Street' where the local traders gang up on the Steptoe's to get them to pay their bills. ‘Any Old Iron' where Harold is chased by a gay antique dealer, ‘Divided We Stand' in which Harold fed up with Albert refusing to decorate the house, splits it down the middle, and the ‘Desperate Hours' where a couple of escaped convicts break into the Steptoe's house and hold them captive. Even after almost 30 years since the series finished, repeats have introduced a whole new audience to this superb series. The American series "Sanford and Son" was based on this British series.moreless

  • Top Contributor
  • francklloyd

    User Score: 82

    EDITOR

  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (21)

    • Albert: (pointing to the mother of the bride) Take a good look at her, mate, because that's what your bird is going to look like in twenty years time. Harold: That don't follow. I don't look anything like you. Albert: Don't think I haven't noticed. Many's the punch-up your mother and me had over you.

    • Albert: Personally, I don't agree with all this marriage cobblers. It just don't work. Can't! It's an unnatural state. 'One man, one woman, till death do us part'? Till they kill each other, that's what they really mean.

    • Harold: 'Steptoe the Klepto' they're calling you down the market. Albert: Oh, that's nice, calling your own dad a tea leaf. Harold: Kleptomania is not tea leafing. It is an illness. You're just a little mental, that's all.

    • Albert: (looking at Harold's work on the central heating) It looks horrible! Harold: I'm not unaware of the sense of intrusion it brings into the overall décor, but sometimes you must sacrifice your artistic sensitivity for the privilege of not having to stick your feet in the oven before you go out in the morning.

    • Harold: (admiring Albert's plaster work) That is a superb bit of restoration. Here, you ought to be on cathedrals. They need craftsmen like you. What are you like on gargoyles? Well, you'd be a good model for one.

    • Harold: Ladies and gentlemen, the grand opening and switching-on ceremony will be performed by Mr Albert Steptoe, well-known local dignitary and Chairman of the Keep Britain Tidy Management Committee. Mr Albert Steptoe has kindly consented to step in today in place of Prince Philip, who unfortunately cannot be with us owing to the fact that his helicopter cannot land in the backyard.

    • Albert: Every time you walk out of here on a Saturday night, you go out smelling like an Algerian brothel. Harold: I have to wear that stuff to get the stink of this house off me. The smell of that horse in the yard, it hangs over me like a noxious cloud. Albert: A great Jessie, you are. We didn't have to ponce ourselves up in my day! Harold: Everybody smelled the same in your day!

    • Bailiff: (after Albert has denied beng Albert Steptoe) Yes, you are. I recognise you. I was shown a photograph of you. Albert: And I recognise you. You're Alec Douglas-Home. Bailiff: No, I'm not. Albert: Yes, you are. I've seen a photograph of him. Bailiff: I'm nothing like him. Albert: That only goes to show you can't trust photographs. Clear off!

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    Notes (46)

    • This pilot episode inspired John Sullivan (creator of Only fools and horses) to write scripts and shows about the working classes of London, which led to the creation of "Citizen Smith" and "Only Fools and horses"

    • Harry H. Corbett didn't know the show was going to be recorded with a live audience. When he saw the stalls on the stage floor he almost walked out, but the writers persuaded him to stay on, to which he responded "I Shall have to rethink my entire performance"

    • First Appearance Of Harold Steptoe

    • First Appearance of Albert Steptoe

    • this pilot was episode number 4 of the first series of "Comedy Playhouse", in 1962 the 2nd choice to play Harold, if Harry H Corbrett was unavailable was Ronald Fraser

    • Repeated on June 7, 1962 when the first series started.

    • The plot for this episode would be revisited again, with slight variations, most notably on "A Winter's tale" and the 1974 Christmas Special

    • Actor Colin Gordon would appear again on the show 10 years later, in "Live Now, PAYE later"

    Show More Notes

    Trivia (6)

    • The little cuboard under the stairs was refered to again in a later episode, "Pot Black" in 1970. This after Harold threatened to turn Alberts bedroom into a snooker room!

    • Martin, one of Harold's poker playing "friends" was played by Dudley Foster, who later also played Mr. Stonelake - Labour Party Agent- in "My Old Man's a Tory in 1965, series 4.

    • Harold: What was the name of that shop you took that other great find of yours to? Albert: Oh, shut up. Harold: Christopher Columbus' logbook in his own handwriting. Albert: There's no need to bring that up. Harold: It would have been worth a few quid if it hadn't been written in English.

    • This episode features the appearence of character Charlie Miller, cockney rouge, con man, who Albert refers to in a previous episode, "The Colour Problem".

    • This was one of a number of episodes which featured the Steptoe's playing a game at the start. Others were "Men of Property" (Monopoly) "Loathe Story" (Badminton) and "Pot Black" where the whole episode was based around a game of Snooker.

    • During the kitchen scene with Harold and the doctor, a microphone can be seen for several seconds

    Show More Trivia

    Allusions (11)

    • A "Bird" is an english term for a girl

    • A Wooden overcoat is an euphemysm for Coffin

    • The title of this episode is a parody of the film "Those Magnificent Men and their Flying Machines"

    • The scene with Albert and Harold in the upstairs shower has parts that were a reference to the famous scene in Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho"

    • an "iron" is a term used for a gay in cockney rhyming slang; iron hoof=poof,hence the episodes title.

    • This episode title is a play on Shakespears words "To be or not to be."

    • This episode was named after the BBC 2 series "Pot Black", which was the showcase for the increasingly popular sport at the time.

    • Albert and Harold play "Scrabble" in the beginning of this episode

    Show More Allusions
  • Fan Reviews (5)
  • 50 years of Steptoe

    By LouieSparkes, May 09, 2012

  • Classic series, epitomy of the love hate theme.

    By Witewood, Sep 09, 2007

  • Steptoe and Son is probably the best British comedy ever. Featuring late stars, Wilfred Brambell and Harry H Corbett, this was an excellent show which never failed to amuse me and was true to life.

    By D-LinkUK, Nov 24, 2006

  • Just Watch It.

    By shadow_777, Sep 02, 2006

  • The greatest. To Me Steptoe & Son is and was the greatest comedy of all time. Harry H Corbett and Wilfrid Brambell was perfect in their roles.

    By Kingy78, Mar 09, 2006

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