Sunday, 7 October 2018

RIP Ray Galton

Very sad to hear that legendary comic scriptwriter Ray Galton has died at the age of 88.

Surrey born Galton was working as a clerk for the TGWU when, at sixteen, he knew something was seriously wrong with him. He was 6ft 4in but weighed only nine stone and suffered from a bad cough, sweats and little energy. Diagnosed with TB, he was packed off to a sanatorium in Milford, near Godalming where his future in comedy was set thanks to a chance meeting with fellow patient, Alan Simpson (who sadly also passed away last year at the age of 87). 

Working together, the pair's first great success was writing for Tony Hancock; between 1954 and 1961 they wrote some 150 scripts for the comedian and secured his status as the nation's favourite comedian. When Hancock decided he wanted to go it alone, Galton and Simpson devised a one-off Comedy Playhouse about a warring father and son rag and bone team. Their script, entitled The Offer, went on to become Steptoe and Son, a long-running BBC series that stands to this day as one of the finest sitcoms.

Away from Simpson, Galton worked with Johnny Speight on the police comedy Spooner's Patch, and with John Antrobus on Room at the Bottom and Get Well Soon, the latter a sanatorium-set sitcom inspired by Galton and Simpson's initial encounter.


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