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Vote for your Favourite Steptoe and Son Episode


Steptoe and Son

Vote for your Favourite Steptoe and Son Episode


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


Steptoe and Son rightly deserves to be recognised as a programme that changed the future of TV comedy.

Before their arrival on the scene most comedy shows featured a series of short sketches featuring the show’s main stars. Even though Hancock’s Half Hour, (also written by Ray Galton and Alan Simpson), featured a single story such as The Blood Donor, the focus was very much on Hancock and his reaction to wherever he was placed. The supporting cast took different roles each week, one week they could be a lift attendant, the next a librarian.

When Galton and Simpson created Steptoe, they wanted to move away from the personality being the star of the show, to the characters being the ones we cared about.

This also gave them other opportunities to explore the darker side of a character, something they could not have done in a show such as Hancock, where the lead character effectively played himself. They therefore made the decision to use established actors to play the main characters rather than noted comedians. This decision again allowed the Steptoe and Son characters to be used in far greater depth.

Each week we returned to the same location with the same characters and we were able to look at them tackling a different issue each week. What should you do when times are hard, and an opportunity to buy some dodgy looking lead at rock bottom price arises? How shall we vote in the election? What do we do when the horse dies? As each of these problems is overcome, so another aspect of the character is revealed. The situation comedy was born.


Every body has a favourite of episode of Steptoe and Son. Perhaps it was because when we watched them we recognised that we faced the same problems they did. Whether they were splitting the house in two, trying to take tax free cash or trying to move home we could recognise ourselves.

Equally it may be the fantastic acting by Wilfrid Brambell who played the old may or the wonderful pathos of Harry H. Corbett as the son, the nation was hooked.

One of the episodes that featured highly in the voting list is upstairs downstairs, upstairs downstairs. This is the one where Albert Steptoe makes out he is ill and needs Harold to help him. It is of course a silly thing to make out you are ill when you are not as it could affect your ability to obtain life insurance. During one part of the episode Harold Steptoe has to carry his father upstairs. Albert is so light that he doesn’t need to apply for life insurance for overweight people as he is such a skinny man that Harold Steptoe almost picks him up with one hand. Still the life insurance help website would be delighted to have Steptoe and son as customers.

It is also a regular problem in Oil Drum Lane that there isn’t much money coming in. The are many times when they could have done with some tax free cash or other means of money. If they held a private pension then under certain circumstances they could have been able to take a pension lump sum for their investment. This could have allowed Harold Steptoe to move out, of Albert Steptoe to buy a colour television with his own money.