Running from 4 January 1962 to 26 December 1974
Key Cast List:
|Harry H. Corbett||
ON A SATURDAY MORNING BEFORE football training, my routine always included watching a double bill of Steptoe and Son on UK Gold. Right on cue, whilst having my breakfast i would be interrupted by my mum when she walked in with her breakfast.
Refusing to eat her breakfast and demanding me to change the channel, not wanting to watch the two dirty men in their filthy ran down house. After five minutes of constant nagging I would then change the channel, much to my disappointment.
The main reason I loved the sitcom was that they saved a scraped for everything they had, which wasn’t much. Having their ups and downs they always showed their strong bond for each other.
Steptoe and Son are one of Britain’s best-loved duos. Father and son, Albert and Harold Steptoe were two rag and bone men living in Oil Drum Lane, a fictional street in Shepherd’s Bush, London.
From the very beginning the sitcom broke the traditional patterns of British comedy. Previous sitcoms relied on slapstick, jokes and mockery, whereas Steptoe & Son showed the viewers a side to sitcoms that they had never seen before, gritty realism which is a major factor why I loved the show.
The series was based around the working-class duo battling to make a living and attempting to spot items of value august other people’s junk, piling it on to the back of the cart pulled by their reliable horse.
Despite the advantage of Harold’s youth, the audience knew who was in charge in the Steptoe household.
Albert, whose work in years gone by believed it entitled him to live off Harold’s hard earned money. To keep him sweet, Albert used every trick in the book, from angry to pitiable threats to keep his son in line.
Often reminded by his son, Albert was a stubborn ‘dirty old man’, being set in his grubby and selfish ways; Harold was full of hopes and dreams of social outlet, not to remain housebound. This would often entail in many episodes with the 40-year-old attempting to lure an upper class ‘bird’.
Despite his literary education, love of classic music and sub-standard acting skills, it was made very difficult with just one sly filthy look from his father would put the mockers on the whole affair.
As the series progressed Harold’s efforts to escape from his dad became more and more desperate. A classic episode called ‘Divided We Stand’ showed Harold dividing the whole run-down Steptoe estate, right down to the TV screen. This ended in failure as the remotes were on Albert’s side but Harold remained undefeated by taking out the plug which was on his side.
Another plea of freedom from Harold came in the episode “The Desperate Hours”. The Steptoe’s were held hostage by two prisoners on the run, ending up with Harold pleading with the prisoners to take him with them.
This was the exact portrayal of their off-screen relationship. Both Brambell and Corbett were like chalk and cheese. As the series progressed and the show becoming more popular, their hatred for each other only grew stronger.
Despite their off-screen relationship, the sitcom was still a massive hit with the viewers and two films were commissioned. Steptoe and Son which was very popular, lead to the demand for another movie. Steptoe and Son Ride Again was another great success.
With Steptoe & Son still being repeated today it shows how the sitcom has remained popular throughout the years and is still contemporary today as it once was in the 60s. The show is one of the greatest situation comedies that British television has ever produced.
Broadcast on BBC1