Series 5 and 6 of the vintage radio sitcom starring Harry H Corbett and Wilfrid Brambell, adapted from the much-loved TV series.
Steptoe and Son was hugely successful, with eight series broadcast on BBC TV and two spin-off feature films. So popular was the show that many episodes were subsequently recorded for BBC radio.
Collected together for the first time, here are all the episodes from the fifth and sixth radio series, scripted and adapted for radio by Hancock's Half Hour creators Ray Galton and Alan Simpson. In these classic episodes, Harold conquers his fear of ballroom dancing; falls for his drama society's leading lady; plans a solo holiday and pens an article for the church magazine. Plus, Albert is startled by his son's sleepwalking; tangles with the tax inspector; tackles some extortionists (with the help of his kung fu club) and becomes involved in spiritualism.
The episodes included are The Desperate Hours; Come Dancing; A Star is Born; A Winter's Tale; Men of Property; Men of Letters; Loathe Story; Oh, What a Beautiful Mourning; Live Now, PAYE Later; Upstairs, Downstairs, Upstairs, Downstairs; And So To Bed; Porn Yesterday; The Seven Steptoerai; Seance in a Wet Rag and Bone Yard; and a Christmas special, first broadcast as part of David Jacobs' Crackers in 1976. Also included are two bonus Steptoe and Son sketches: Scotch on the Rocks, from the 1978 Radio 2 show Good Luck, Scotland and a special insert from BBC1's Christmas Night with the Stars from 1967. Duration: 8 hours approx.
Ray Galton and Alan Simpson met in a sanatorium in Surrey, where they were both being treated for TB. Ray Galton remembers noticing the six-foot-four Simpson and thinking he looked surprisingly large - `you expect everyone in a sanatorium to be thin and weedy, and he was the biggest guy I'd ever seen'. During two years in the same ward, they listened to comedy shows together and also wrote a series of their own, creating a radio room in a linen cupboard. Having left the sanatorium within a few months of each other, they decided to get a professional opinion of their work and sent a sketch they had written called The Pirate Sketch to the BBC. They were asked to go in for an interview, and soon found themselves writing for the sketch show Happy Go Lucky. Over the next two years they continued to write sketches for a number of big names, before coming up with the idea for Hancock's Half Hour. Although the BBC took some persuading, eventually the show was scheduled, initially for radio but later as a television series. A phenomenally successful ten years later, Galton and Simpson were themselves very well known names. After Hancock's Half Hour they wrote Comedy Playhouse for the BBC, out of which came their second huge television and radio hit, Steptoe & Son. In 1977 they wrote The Galton & Simpson Playhouse, produced by Yorkshire Television for ITV.