The BBC Story

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The first series of Steptoe and Son began with a repeat of the pilot. The Offer first aired as an episode of Comedy Playhouse, but the reaction was so favourable that writers Alan Simpson and Ray Galton quickly produced a full series.

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The simple set up featured a father and son relationship, and was played out in the same cluttered junkyard set every week.

Its mixture of coarse comedy and pathos gave it universal appeal and ensured its success.

Steptoe and Son were rag-and-bone men. Wilfrid Brambell was Albert, the devious father and archetypal dirty old man. Harry H Corbett played his son, Harold, who longed to escape his surroundings.

Steptoe and Son ran until 1965, was revived in 1970, and lasted until 1974.

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Public appetite for the show was such that it spawned two feature films and a radio version, and was remade in America.