galton and simpson to receive Bafta fellowship

Alan Simpson: 1929 – 2017

Legendary Comedy Writer Alan Simpson Has Died, Aged 87

Alan Simpson of writing duo Galton and Simpson has died at the age of 87, his manager has said.

The pair created sitcoms including Hancock’s Half Hour and Steptoe and Son.

Simpson had undergone a “long battle with lung disease”, manager Tessa Le Bars said.

Ray Galton’s family said there were “no words” to express their feelings at the death of “Ray’s partner and family friend over the last 70 years”.

Credited with inventing the modern sitcom format with long term writing partner Ray Galton, Hancock’s Half Hour was the biggest show on the radio and then on television.  Further success followed with Steptoe and Son.

However the duo’s work was far more wide reaching than their two biggest successes as you will ee on this site over the coming months.


Their two series of Galton and Simpson’s Comedy Playhouse was so successful the BBC used the formula as Comedy Playhouse until 1975.  No less than 27 sitcoms started life as an episode of Comedy Playhouse.  Of course the most successful was Galton and Simpson’s Steptoe and Son, which at it’s peak attracted audiences of 28 million.