Old Ned

You Dirty Old Man

That was the catchphrase of Harold Steptoe when describing his father Albert in the classic BBC sitcom Steptoe & Son which was about the strained relationship of the two rag and bone men. Famously the two stars did not get along although I get the impression the feud has been overplayed by the media, which whenever they do a retrospective on the show they ALWAYS show the clip of  Wilfred Brambell talking about Harry H Corbett sometime after his premature death. However  if you track down the news clip where on they interviewed Brambell on the day Corbett died, you’ll see he was far from non-chalant about it.

Both stars tend to get a negative view these days, much is made of Wilfred Brambell getting arrested for getting caught in a compromising situation with another man at a time when homosexuality was illegal in the UK and often Harry H Corbett is dismissed as a failed film star or a victim of type casting due to the success of S&S.


2 thoughts on “Old Ned

  1. Being a native of Bethnal Green in London’s East End, Steptoe and Son was a must look for our family. We loved it and found it very funny. The scene that remains with me is when the father, Wilfred Brambell, was taking a bath in the living room. They did not have a bathroom of course, I think it was a big tin bath. He was eating pickled onions in the bath and dropped a few in the water and picked them out to eat them. I do not think the son was very happy about that, but mum and dad and me were laughing our heads off.


    • I know the episode, if memory serves the set up of the episode is that the lack of a bathroom bothers Harold so he installs one… only to find the floor is woodworm ridden and when Albert gets in the bath it falls through the floor into the living room


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