By 1961 the BBC had screened what would be Tony Hancock’s the final series for the corporation: Hancock.

By now Galton and Simpson had written the scripts to thirteen series of Hancock’s Half Hour, six on the radio and seven on TV, making them household names.  With Hancock now behind them Ray Galton and Alan Simpson were free to consider new challenges.

Then BBC Head of Comedy: Tom Sloan had an idea for a series of one off sitcoms to be entitled Comedy Playhouse and he knew exactly who he wanted to write them.

Galton and Simpson’s Comedy Playhouse – 1961

In 1961 the BBC commissioned a new series of one-off unrelated sitcoms that aired for 120 episodes from 1961 to 1975.

The first two series were written by Ray Galton and Alan Simpson under the banner Galton and Simpson’s Comedy Playhouse.  Those first two series broadcast in 1961 and 1962, produced sixteen one off sitcoms.

Of the two series one of the shows, The Offer, from series one, was commissioned for a full series: Steptoe and Son,which would go on to be one of television’s most popular sitcoms.

Many articles perhaps lead you to think that this was a series of potential pilot episodes, as the writers themselves told us earlier, not as far as they were concerned.

As we saw in an earlier post the series would continue as Comedy Playhouse for another thirteen series written by other writers finally coming to an end in 1975.


An all star cast gather for sixteen one off sitcoms.  Full list and episode summaries
Series 1 –
Series 2 –





Channel: BBC
Created By: Tom Sloan
Written By: Ray Galton and Alan Simpson
Originally Transmitted: 15th December 1961 – 12th April 1963

Archive Status

Most of the original two series are missing presumed wiped, The Offer still exists.



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