The Galton And Simpson Playhouse – 1977
After Steptoe ans Son ended in 1974, Galton and Simpson continued to write but the media would have us believe any further high profile hits seemed to alude them.
In 1977, Duncan Wood, former BBC producer on Steptoe and Hancock, now at Yorkshire Television, commissioned The Galton & Simpson Playhouse, a seven-part series broadcast in 1977, featuring leading actors of the time such as Leonard Rossiter and Arthur Lowe.
Regretably none of these shows led to another series, although competition was hard as this time period produced some of the all time great sitcoms.
Having spoken to the writers, I felt that they were intended as one offs. Remember that by 1977 they’d been at the top of their game for over 20 years, they’d created the modern sitcom, written material for the biggest stars of the 1950’s, had success accross radio, TV and film in the 1960’s and 70’s. Hancock and Steptoe were the biggest sitcoms of their time. The original Galton and Simpson’s Comedy Playhouse was another success, that lead to the idea being continued as BBC Comedy Playhouse with other writers, giving us such huge landmark sitcoms as Last Of The Summer Wine, Are You Being Served and The Liver Birds. Indeed the idea is still used today with a series in 2014 and 2016.
Summary And Cast
Car Along the Pass: Henry Duckworth is living proof that the English take their holidays very seriously indeed. Starring Arthur Lowe, Mona Washbourne and Anton Diffring.
Swap You One of These for One of Those: Henry Fairlane’s invite to a colleague’s party has one big condition… Starring Richard Briers, Henry McGee, Jan Waters and John Sharp.
Cheers: Peter and Charles’ long friendship is jolted by Peter’s marriage plans. Starring Charles Gray, Freddie Jones, Nicholas Courtney and Maria Charles.
Naught for Thy Comfort: An airline steward whose wife has left him finds no comfort in friends. Starring Roy Kinnear, Robert Gillespie and the voice of Alan Freeman.
Variations on a Theme: The eternal triangle can have more than one outcome… Starring John Bird, Frances de la Tour and Norman Chappell.
I Tell You It’s Burt Reynolds: A film and TV know-all goes to absurd lengths to prove his knowledge. Starring Leonard Rossiter, Patricia Hayes and Roy Barraclough.
Big Deal at York City: A man attracts attention travelling home from a day at York races. Starring Warren Mitchell, Gerald Flood and Robert Dorning
Channel: ITV (Yorkshire Television)
Written By: Ray Galton and Alan Simpson
Produced By: Duncan Wood
Original Transmission Dates: 17th February 1977 – 31st March 1977