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Response to the "When Steptoe Met Son" page.

An opportunity to discuss any aspect of the TV series

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Postby Karl » Mon Apr 11, 2011 7:14 pm

I look forward to your documentary Phil!
You are right regarding this forum,from my point of view it is friendly and is a great place to talk all things Steptoe & son.....
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Postby PhilGlass » Sat May 07, 2011 12:35 pm

Today I received a magazine I purchased featuring a 1976 interview with Wilfrid - he was promoting his "Ghost Train" show at the time...

Strangely, he talks openly about drinking too much and says that he knows he can be a "bastard" at times, whether drunk or not.

It seems genuine as it has a picture of Wilfrid taken especially for it, but it much mroe honest than his previous ones.
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Postby bob » Sat May 07, 2011 5:12 pm

I love the "Ghost Train" play and have seen it on stage several times and have both a radio recording and the Arthur Askey film version.

What role did Willy play ?
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Postby PhilGlass » Sat May 07, 2011 6:55 pm

He played The Station Master.. the production began at The Old Vic, then toured briefly. This was 1976.

On one of the Dad's Army extras there is "We are the boys... Arnold Ridley" and this features a filmed segment - made especially for the cameras (as in there is no audience present). have you seen this clip of him in the show? If not I will upload it for you in the video section!
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Postby bob » Sun May 08, 2011 10:39 am

I hyave the Dads Army box set but never noticed Willy before. I'll take a look.
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Postby Karl » Mon May 09, 2011 6:07 am

bob wrote:I have the Dads Army box set but never noticed Willy before. I'll take a look.


Same here Bob,i'd better double check myself! :shock:
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Just watched When Steptoe Met Son

Postby Jules » Sun Aug 21, 2011 8:30 am

Hello All

I have just watched the documentary and agree entirely that it seemed to be a whole lot of heresay about 2 people that are no longer here to defend themselves.

As one of you guys on here picked up on, I too noticed the suprising insinuations that Willy speaks and behaves just like Albert! And yet they had footage on their own documentary proving that Willy was a very elegant, well spoken gent! It was far too OTT about his sexuality for my liking, he was never a 'dirty old man' he was just a man who prefers the love of other men who was forced to have to search for that companionship in not the nicest of ways as I suspect many other gay men had to in that predjudiced era. I was a bit annoyed that they seemed to make out that his fondness for Hong Kong was all again all about him being gay and hunting for gay activity - did they ever consider that he just liked the place and being able to be openly gay was just an added bonus.

I also hated it when they said about Willy giving a half-hearted tribute to Harry after he had died - there was nothing half-hearted about it far as I could see and I have also read many times about Willy becoming emotional during a TV interview about Harry's death.

I have never ever believed that they hated each other - if you look at the end of each Steptoe show when the credits are rolling, they both seem to totally 'ad lib' and clown about together and I can't help but see a lot chemistry there, I don't think they could have done the fantastic job they did of Steptoe & Son without some sort of connection with each other.

Long may Steptoe & Son be remembered :-)

Jules
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Postby bob » Mon Aug 22, 2011 1:45 pm

Welcome to the forum Jules.

I know many of us share your perspective on this programme.

The only thing that you can say with any certainty is that the producer is a homophobic bigot as his entire attack on Willy’s character and labelling him a ‘dirty old man’ in real life is because he (Wilfrid)( was homosexual.

Personally I think Willy may have gone to Hong Kong to enjoy the freedom of a more open society. I see nothing wrong in that as long as nobody was being hurt. There has never been any evidence to suggest this is the case.

A bit of angst amongst actors can be a good thing. Warren Mitchell and Anthony Booth (Till Death Us Do Part) both freely admit that they ‘rubbed each other up the wrong way’. But it made magic.

When Booth left the series Warren Mitchell took him to dinner to ask him to come back to the show. Mitchell admitted it was a hard thing for him to do as he didn’t particularly like Booth. Booth acknowledged this and ask given the antipathy between them why on earth did Mitchell want him back. With this Mitchell stood up and in full Alf Garnet character shouted “because nobody gets on my tits like you do”!! Very funny and very true, but the show needed that confrontation between the actors.

Harry and Willy would have also benefited from the fact that they were complete opposites and not natural buddies. That still doesn’t mean they hated each other.
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Postby Jules » Mon Aug 22, 2011 8:54 pm

Thanks for the welcome - it is a pleasure to be here :-)

I remember Til death do us part - that's something you never see repeated on the telly!

My boyfriend takes the mick out of me for being a 31yr old female who adores old comedies - i have Steptoe boxset, Dad's Army boxset, all the only fools & Horses and I love On the Buses and George & Mildred :-)

Like I tell him, comedies were far funnier then as political correctness ruins them nowadays - bet Albert wouldn't be allowed to song about 'Enoch dreaming of a white christmas' in this day an age or grumble about having to go on holiday and be around 'white wogs' :-)
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Postby PhilGlass » Tue Aug 23, 2011 10:24 am

Hi Jules

Another welcome!

I totally echo every one of your sentiments. Political correctness does ruin everything. Where as now it seems compulsory for an actor to be homosexual and every show has at least one token homosexual character, it is wrong to use particular types of jokes that no one was ever actually offended by, so I don't think we can get away with more or less than before, just different things.

I know of a british asian Steptoe fan who finds the "wog" conversation in "The Lodger" hilarious. What these people who complain are doing is showing their OWN ignorance - that whole bit "there's good wogs and bad wogs I suppose, same as us" is NOT a joke about the colour of people's skin - the joke is actually on Albert, and we are laughing at HIS ignorance.

I didn't know that story about Warren Mitchell, that's really funny. I remember seeing George Cole on TV talking about his greatest program "Minder". He said that the public were obsessed with claiming that he and Waterman "hated" each other. He said they did not - but again were not from the same walk of life - they were different generations. They apparently shared a trailer on the studio lot, and where as Cole (to me one of the countries finest actors) would spend his spare time sitting in the trailer with a glass of port and a Dickens novel, Waterman would be down the pub with his mates having a game of darts and drinking lots of beer. BUT they both got the job done and respected each other. They were friends in as much as they got on, but only met when working, much like Harry and Wilfrid, with the exception, says Cole, of the polite christmas and birthday cards they would exchange.

I've heard it about all sorts - I've heard that David Jason and Nicholas Lyndhurst hated each other, which any OFAH expert will tell you is completely untrue.

Why can't people just mind their own business and enjoy the comedies we have?!!
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Postby Ivor Biggun » Sat Aug 27, 2011 6:27 pm

I can't remember which of the documentaries it was now, but it portrayed Harry as having a posh accent. I have seen a video of him in Australia riding with an Aussie R&B man on his cart and during the entire interview he speaks in much the same way that he did on the show. It was an informal interview, so I doubt he was putting it on for the camera. In Bargee and Carry On Screaming, he also speaks in a similar manner so I think that is his real speaking voice and accent in Steptoe and not merely an affectation for dramatic effect.
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Postby Ivor Biggun » Sat Aug 27, 2011 6:31 pm

Jules wrote:Thanks for the welcome - it is a pleasure to be here :-)

I remember Til death do us part - that's something you never see repeated on the telly!

My boyfriend takes the mick out of me for being a 31yr old female who adores old comedies - i have Steptoe boxset, Dad's Army boxset, all the only fools & Horses and I love On the Buses and George & Mildred :-)

Like I tell him, comedies were far funnier then as political correctness ruins them nowadays - bet Albert wouldn't be allowed to song about 'Enoch dreaming of a white christmas' in this day an age or grumble about having to go on holiday and be around 'white wogs' :-)


Political correctness ruins everything it touches. It's time to do away with it and anyone who can't a joke can piss off.
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Postby Dirty Old Yank » Sat Aug 27, 2011 10:34 pm

Welcome to Jules & Ivor!
Last edited by Dirty Old Yank on Wed Aug 31, 2011 11:57 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby Ivor Biggun » Sat Aug 27, 2011 11:04 pm

Hey, I remembered something. I was watching the BBC production of 1984 and there is a scene where an old man in a bar was trying to order a pint and the bartender keeps giving him a hard time telling him they don't serve pints anymore and the old man moans on and on about the old days. He is uncredited but I absolutely swear that it is Wilfrid Brambell who plays the old man. Watch it here

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hATC_2I1wZE

and when you get to the part I just mentioned, let me know if you think it's him or not. The actual scene starts at 32:00 with the old man showing up at 32:30. Look at the face and listen to the voice of the old man. Pay special attention to the mannerisms. It looks and sounds just like Brambell to me. This was made in 1954 so it was before he became famous.
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Postby Dirty Old Yank » Sun Aug 28, 2011 12:22 am

Ivor Biggun wrote:Hey, I remembered something...let me know if you think it's him or not.

http://www.harryandwilf.co.uk/Filmography_P1a.html
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