Steptoe and Son

BBC (ended 1974)




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Steptoe and Son

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Welcome to the Steptoe and Son guide at 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