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Postby PhilGlass » Tue Mar 08, 2011 5:34 pm

Below is what I believe is a MOST UP TO DATE complete list of all Steptoe "episodes" / "sketches" that were not part of the actual series:

1962 - Christmas Night With The Stars - First ever sketch - much of this script was re-vamped later, such as the bit where Albert talks about being in the trenches "and you shot him!". Sometimes wrongly classed as 1965 as the script was transcribed in the 1965 Christmas radio times. Believed to be wiped in all forms.

1963 - Royal Variety Show- Full sketch. Perhaps the most famous of them all. Unreleased but still in existence. Audio released as a record single in 1963 and subsequently since.

1963 - It's A Square World - Short clip - Wilfrid appears as Albert Steptoe in a Dr. Who spoof - as the BBC building is being destroyed, he runs for his life shouting "Hercules!" - This was an UNOFFICIAL appearance, not endorsed or connected to Ray and Alan. Unreleased but still in existence.

1964 - A Night of 100 Stars - Full Sketch. Harold and Albert are preparing for their night out. Only time Harold Steptoe had a goatee beard - because Harry was filming "Armchair Theatre" at the same time... Exists in audio, video believed to be wiped. Quite significant for Wilfrid's mention of the Beatles, as in the same year he starred in their film!

1966 – The Ken Dodd Show – Full Sketch. Quite significant as the series had finished and there were no plans to bring it back - the show was directed by Duncan Wood who had Directed Steptoe. The show was also the first ever appearance of Ken Dodd's "Dickie Mint" puppet. Unreleased but still in existence – easy to find amongst collectors.

1967 – Christmas Night with The Stars – Full Sketch – two parts to this one, a 16mm film clip of them outside a pub which came before the full studio sketch. The first clip was originally broadcast to the studio audience, resulting in a laughter track. It was edited too. It has not been re-shown in this format. However, this sketch was later revived in the 1994 Christmas Night with The Stars special as part of a montage in the same format, but with clips of others broken up between the shots. The 16mm clip exists without the soundtrack (the ‘voice’ sounds were actually overdubbed by the actors and does not match the footage exactly). The full sketch exists in AUDIO only. Footage believed to be wiped.

1969 – A Party Political Broadcast for the Labour Party – Full sketch. Only featuring Harold, this sketch involved MP Bob Mellish being grilled by Harold as to why all politicians are the same. Mellish then successfully persuades Harold that they are not - according to the BFI. However, according to Ray and Alan, this was just Harold on the phone to his dad. This is Unreleased but exists in the BFI archive - some sources have said this was filmed in colour which would make it the first ever colour Steptoe appearance if true.

1972 – The Generation Game. – Series 1 episode 18, often classed as the 1972 Christmas Special. During a break from the games and fun, Bruce Forsyth goes off to promote the ‘Keep Britain Tidy’ campaign and bumps in to Albert and Harold Steptoe in the BBC corridors – they have come to watch his show but have gotten lost. He leads them back to the studio... When asked, Ray and Alan had no recollection at all of this ever existing, so either they simply can't remember, or it was unofficial. Unreleased but still exists, was repeated in the mid '90's on Challenge TV, so unlikely to be wiped. (A big shout to Nick Rich for the info on this one)

1972 - BACK STAGE FOOTAGE ... Alright, not a sketch, but bleedin' interesting! One of these many compilations you see, "World's Greatest..." etc, featured a few seconds of H. talking on the set of Steptoe, in his costume, about Wilfrid. Of course, H. is making a joke and says "I hate him, it's just the same!". Only a few seconds were shown (I am trying to find the date this was broadcast...) but we must believe they filmed more than that, as it woudl be expensive just to film a sentence for what seemed like no apparant reason at the time!

1973 – Travel Agents Advert – Possibly a myth – many collectors claim to have seen this – most likely referring to the travel agents scene in the 1973 christmas special. Existence unknown. Ray and Alan have no knowledge if this.

1974 - Waggoner's Walk - Ok, technically not a Steptoe sketch, but one episode of the Radio Drama featured both harry AND Wilfrid, who were both referred to as "The Steptoes". The fictional characters of the drama win tickets to go backstage after Harry and Wilf's real life pantomime "Cinderella". We then hear them meet Harry and Wilfrid (yes, it's really them), and the conversation seems very improvised, and the sound is unbalanced compared to the rest. They are referred to as "The Steptoes" all the way through and don't seem to have a problem with it! Harry does most of the talking and comes across as a real gent! Unreleased but still in existence.

1977 – Ajax Adverts – two of these were made, both without the knowledge or consent of Galton and Simpson, winning ‘Best Advert’ awards in Britain and Australia. These are believed to have been filmed during the Steptoe live tour, however, Harry's appearance seems to date these earlier in 1977, though they were made by 'Patts Melbourne'. Both run for 1 minute each. Still in existence. One of which was used in the 90's for an Australian compilation video featuring famous faces in commercials, so technically officially released.

1978 – “Scotch on the Rocks” – Unofficial title – part of “Good Luck Scotland”, a radio show. The ONLY radio only episode, not taken from a television counterpart.

1980 – Christmas Night with The Stars – Albert and Harold are travelling up the motorway on the horse and cart and argue all the way... Unreleased but still exists in the BFI archive.

1981 – Kenco commercial. Perhaps the most famous of all the extras, this 30 second commercial was the last time they played the Steptoe characters, and the last time the actors ever saw each other. According to a reporter on the set (they never lie do they??) Harry talked happily about the prospect of making more episodes of Steptoe, mentioning the possibility of a series in 1983. Unreleased but still in existence...


What a fantastic DVD all that would make.

If anyone has any corrections / updates please let me know, I would like this list to be accurate.

I have heard rumour there is a THIRD Ajax commercial, but have yet to see any reference or proof. However, as the existing two were filmed at the same time (though from different angles making them appear slightly different), it is not inconceivable a third was made.

I hope this was of some interest to some of you. :)
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Postby bob » Wed Mar 09, 2011 5:27 pm

Interesting about a third Ajax advert, perhaps everybody should scour their collections !!!
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Postby PhilGlass » Thu Mar 17, 2011 3:18 pm

Bob - it's amazing where they turn up!!

Also, Ray and Alan say the Kenco advert was written at a minute long, so they filmed the whole thing then cut it down appropriately. There seems to be an implication that they made several different edits in the Robert Ross book - is there another verison doing the rounds?

The thought of a planned series for 1983 is a mind boggling one!!

I still don't think we have it all. Ray and Alan have patchy memories over it, and that's understandable, who can remember what they did at work 30 years ago??

Keep checking thos old vhs tapes people!!
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