When Steptoe Met Son
When Steptoe Met Son is a 2002 Channel 4 documentary about the personal lives of Wilfrid Brambell and Harry H. Corbett, the stars of the longrunning BBC situation comedy, Steptoe and Son. It aired on 20 August 2002.
The programme reveals how Brambell and Corbett were highly dissimilar to their on-screen characters. Corbett felt he had a promising career as a serious actor, but was trapped by his role as Harold and forced to keep returning to the series after typecasting limited his choice of work. Brambell, meanwhile, was a homosexual, something that in the 1960s was still frowned upon by traditional English society and, until the Sexual Offences Act 1967, illegal, and was thus driven underground. The documentary went on to claim that during an ill-fated final tour of Australia the already strained relationship between Corbett and Brambell finally broke down for good.
However, the writers of Steptoe and Son, Ray Galton and Alan Simpson, declined being involved in the documentary as it was on the subject of conflict which to their knowledge did not exist. Harry H. Corbett's nephew from his second marriage also released a statement which claimed that the actors did not hate each other. "We can categorically say they did not fall out. They were together for nearly a year in Australia, went on several sightseeing trips together, and left the tour at the end on different planes because Harry was going on holiday with his family, not because he refused to get on the same plane. They continued to work together after the Australia tour on radio and adverts."
- The Guardian: feature on the Channel 4 documentary
- "Corbett Family Statement in response to BBC Trust's final ruling publication 1st July 2009", steptoe-and-son.com. Retrieved 2011-02-12
- "Scriptwriters reject the 'Curse of Comedy'", The Times, Published online 8 March 2008. Retrieved on 2011-02-07
- "An important message from the Corbett family". steptoe-and-son.com. Retrieved 7 February 2011.