Classic 1960s British comedy series about a middle aged man and his elderly father who run an unsuccessful 'rag and bone' business (collecting and selling junk). Harold (the son) wants to ... See full summary »
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2016   1974   1973   1972   1970   1965   … See all »
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Cast

Series cast summary:
Wilfrid Brambell ...
 Albert Steptoe (57 episodes, 1962-1974)
Harry H. Corbett ...
 Harold Steptoe (57 episodes, 1962-1974)
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Storyline

Classic 1960s British comedy series about a middle aged man and his elderly father who run an unsuccessful 'rag and bone' business (collecting and selling junk). Harold (the son) wants to better himself but his father always seems to ruin things, sometimes accidentally and other times deliberately. The two live in poverty and the father has some disgusting habits which continue to embarrass the son. Written by Rob Hartill

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Comedy

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Release Date:

5 January 1962 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Степто и сын  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(2 episodes) | (55 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The series began life as a 1962 segment of the BBC's "Comedy Playhouse" strand, in the episode Comedy Playhouse: The Offer (1962). See more »

Quotes

[repeated line]
Harold Steptoe: You dirty old man!
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Connections

Referenced in Shooting Stars: Episode #2.10 (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

Old Ned
(theme music)
Written by Ron Grainer
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Classic comedy with a heart of truth
22 June 2001 | by (Solihull, England) – See all my reviews

Although Steptoe and Son ran on British TV for twelve years it is one of those rare (maybe unique) examples of an idea which continued to develop and evolve rather than slide into stale repetition.

In its early years the series emphasised broad comedy. One well-remembered episode features Albert eating a meal while sitting in his bath, earning a rebuke from his son which became a national catchphrase: "You dirty old man!"

As time went by the characters became established and the writing began to emphasise the mutual dependency of two basically lonely men (Harold the batchelor and Albert the widower). Harold dreams of a better quality of life away from his father and constantly makes attempts to achieve something in his own right. His attempts are thwarted by his own lack of social standing and his father's scheming: if Harold joins a local theatre group, Albert joins too and becomes the star of the show.

Albert, for his part, fears losing his son and being abandoned in his old age. He will use any means (especially moral blackmail) to keep Harold at his side. More importantly he is far more realistic than Harold and sees that his attempts at social ambition are doomed.

In one of the most moving episodes an old girlfriend of Harold's reappears after many years. They still feel the same way about each other and plan to marry. Finally Harold can break away from the old man. Naturally Albert has other ideas, but at the climax of the show it is the girl who ends the relationship, telling Harold he is already married.

The performances of Wilfrid Brambell and Harry H Corbett never faltered through the show's run. Galton and Simpson produced scripts of wit and insight and they performed with great skill and subtlety. This is a show where you laugh while recognising the truth and basic sadness of the situation in which the characters live.


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