Thursday, January 5, 2012

It was 50 years ago today…..

…When Steptoe and Son first rode onto our screens. They did so in ‘The Offer’, an episode of Galton and Simpson’s Comedy Playhouse, broadcast on January 5th 1962.

The show had been rehearsed the week before and was recorded on the 4th. During the rehearsal week Tom Sloan, Head of BBC Light Entertainment, had been so impressed he was already pushing for the Steptoes to have their own series. After it went out, the Public agreed with him and a few weeks later Harry and Wilfrid Brambell signed up for 5 further episode that, alongside a repeat of ‘The Offer’, made up the first series.  

It was an instant hit and immediately repeated. By late summer, Harry and Wilf were household names and the Steptoes went on to top the ratings for the next 12 years.

2012 also sees another anniversary, in March it will be 30 years since Harry died.

If only I had got my act together in time and come up with some way of marking these occasions. “Well, (she brightly informs, smugly crossing to shiny oven) here’s one I prepared earlier…”

Having finished the first draft of Harry’s biography last spring, taken the summer to gird the loins and sent it out in the Autumn I can now report that the book what I wrote,  Harry H. Corbett – The Front Legs of the Cow will be published by the History Press this March.

Happy New Year…


  1. As a 39 year old fan I have waited for three decades. I grew up watching your dad, he feels as much as part of my family as my own dad did to me. In actual fact, my dad did an admirable impersonation of Harold, perhaps why I loved the character so much.

    Your father left a wealth of comedy gold, was a seriously underrated actor and I cannot sadly thank him so I extend my thanks to his remaining family. 'What does the H stand for? H-anything!'

    God Bless you Harry - you will never be forgotten.

  2. Great to hear the book's on its way. Can't wait to read it.

  3. Really looking forward to this, must have been a real labour of love for you and I'll order ASAP. Steve

  4. Hi Susannah
    Remember your dad well - met him a few times with your brother Jonathan (Shnoorbs!) when we were at the Dicker together. I recall we went to the Happy Eater for lunch a couple of times. I also remember well the day he died - I was staying at the family house in Burmuda and the Falklands War was raging. The "ZBM-Teleivesion-10" news came on and we listened a report on the conflict and then "bang" the news of your dads passing.

    I was 15 and nobody I had ever known had died before - it shook me and made me very sad....

    I am delighted you have written Harry's biography - i will get it on order this week!

    I would truly love to catch up with your brother - tried to find him on the web a few times - but he is elusive!! - He can contact me at

    Crispian Emberson (Gatward)

  5. Your book came yesterday, I am really looking forward to reading it, will you be doing the publicity rounds, I do hope you are on Richard Bacon's afternoon show very soon.

  6. Your dad brought happiness to a great many people.