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Archive for April 16th, 2013

4698371_l1

by Allan Fish

(UK 1962-1974 1,678m) DVD2

You dir-ty old man!

p/d  Duncan Wood, John Howard Davies, Douglas Argent  w  Ray Galton, Alan Simpson  m  Ron Grainer (theme tune)

Harry H.Corbett (Harold Steptoe), Wilfrid Brambell (Albert Steptoe),

Did a small screen monument ever have such quite literally humble beginnings?  In the aftermath of their split from Tony Hancock after five years providing him with classic situations, Galton and Simpson were commissioned by Auntie Beeb to produce a series of comedy plays for the ‘Comedy Playhouse’.  Unfortunately, by the time they got round to the final one nearly all the budget had been used so they settled on making the final one very much a two-header, set virtually entirely in one set.  And to play the lead roles, as cockney rag and bone men, they cast a Mancunian-raised straight actor and a fifty-year old Irish theatre actor.  The incredible success of the original play, ‘The Offer’, lead to a series later that year and seven more followed, spread over the next twelve years.  Steptoe and Son thus became an institution, and surely the finest British sitcom – making it prime contender for finest worldwide – of the 1960s. (more…)

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