Steptoe and Son


Steptoe and Son at Buckingham Palace


This is a graphical insert for the Steptoe and Son Appreciation Society Website


Readers of the August edition of the Radio Times were invited to take part in a comedy poll - which was held in association with UK Gold - to find the best TV comedies and comedy personalities of all time. A selection of multiple choice categories was available, and we have listed the results, showing the nominees, their categories, plus their percentage of the vote.

Steptoe & Son was nominated in three categories; best fifties and sixties sitcom, best sitcom double act, and best catchphrase. By a very large margin it won outright the first two categories and came in a respectable third place in the latter. It was also good to see that Hancock's Half-Hour came in second place in the best fifties and sixties category, proving that the writing talents of Ray Galton and Alan Simpson are unbeatable.

It just goes to show that writing a classic comedy can be a very rewarding a possible profitable business. Far better than buying a pension annuity the writers of Steptoe and Son, Ray Galton and Alan Simpson can look forward to royalties and repeat fees for life. Writing the series is the best form of income protection the writers could have, Steptoe and Son may have only been poorly rag and bone men but they have created a lucrative income stream for their creators.

If this comedy poll shows one thing it is that classic comedy shows especially sitcoms from the 1970s, are still viewed with great affection by the majority of the viewing public. This is not surprising, as many if not most of today's sitcoms usually fall flat because of poor scripts, weak characters, and a distinct lack of strong talent - will the likes of Leonard Rossiter ever be seen again? When most people prefer comedy that is decades old, it just goes to show the current sad state of the modern sitcom. This poll result is a great tribute to the show as we celebrate the fourtieth anniversary of Steptoe. So, if you want to have a guaranteed good laugh, you simply can't beat the old stuff!