Steptoe and Son

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Lunch with Galton and Simpson  
BBC2 Arena  
First Broadcast : 25 December 2005  

As a Christmas treat in 2005 BBC2 broadcast a 90 minute special 'Arena' programme about the lives and careers of Ray and Alan. One of the shows leading broadcasters, Nigel Williams takes Ray and Alan and agent Tessa Le Bars to lunch, where they discuss their lives and careers.

Below is the BBC official press release :



Alan Simpson and Ray Galton have delighted millions with their creations, which include Hancock's Half Hour and Steptoe And Son.

This Christmas, Arena presents the first full-length profile of two of the greatest comedy writers to emerge since the Second World War.

They talk about life, laughter and work with author and broadcaster Nigel Williams.

The pair met as teenagers in 1948, when they were both convalescing from tuberculosis in Milford sanatorium.

They went from writing and performing scripts for hospital radio to being hired by the BBC in 1951 to write for Derek Roy's radio show, Happy-Go-Lucky.

In the Fifties, they hit the big time with Hancock's Half Hour. The radio series ran from 1954 to 1959, turned Hancock into a national institution and transferred to television with huge success.

Galton and Simpson went on to help re-launch Frankie Howerd with his first major series, Frankie Howerd, after a low period in the comedian's career, and to create a sitcom for Sidney James called Citizen James.

But a true high point for them came with the creation of the groundbreaking Steptoe And Son. The series struck a chord with the nation, and the weekly battles between the father and son were soon attracting enormous audiences, sometimes in excess of 20 million.

Galton and Simpson won lifetime achievement awards from the Writers' Guild in 1997, and were awarded OBEs in 2000.

Arena pays tribute to the writing team that is a true national treasure.




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