We featured a collection of Steptoe sketches earlier this year, whilst researching for another post we came across this.
The Night of 100 Stars was a charity gala performance at the London Palladium on 23rd July 1964 in aid of the Combined Theatrical Charities Appeals Council. This particular gala’s headline acts included: The Beatles and Shirley Bassey. Judy Garland made a special unannounced appearance (singing ‘Over the Rainbow’).
For the Steptoe & Son sketch, Harold had a goatee beard, the only time Harold Steptoe does, this was because Corbett was filming an Armchair Theatre at the same time and his character there required one. The goatee was worked into the Steptoe routine.
The programme was not broadcast on television nor radio but a sound recording was at least made of some, if not all, of the show, as evidenced by this surviving sketch of the Steptoe & Son routine released on a Steptoe LP by Pye in 1966 along with audio excerpts from the TV show as ‘Gems From the Steptoe Scrap Heap’ (Pye NPL 18153).
A short sketch in which Albert and Harold are getting ready to go to Night of 100 Stars as guests (the tickets have cost Harold 5 guineas each).
There is also a cross reference to the previous Steptoe short special ‘Steptoe & Son at Buckingham Palace’ from the 1963 Royal Variety Performance with Harold noting that if “Royalty is there I hope that ‘Ada Camp’ isn’t there!” (in that sketch Albert had been up to the Palace totting).
Harry H. Corbett
Written By: Ray Galton and Alan Simpson
Performed: as part of Night of 100 Stars – 23/07/1964