One of the most interesting and long running sitcoms produced by the BBC and the writers Galton and Simpson was that of Steptoe and Son. This was the antics and adventures of two unlikely characters, a Father and Son at odds with each other but also deeply needing each other as well. They were the one of the few examples of the lost art of totting, in other words they were Rag and Bone men. This involved trawling the streets in their horse drawn cart calling out for any “old iron” or “rag and bone” basically a form of recycling. For a small fee they would dispose of it for you or even use it themselves.
They lived in a ramshackle house and yard that was in dire need of some Roof sealant like the type you can get from CT1. It was obvious that money was tight, or at least Old man Steptoe said it was. His son, Harold, seems unable to break away from his Father yet never does despite constantly berating him.
Harold wants a girlfriend but his Father sabotages it. Harold wants to be an actor and his Dad proves to be better than him. Harold sees himself as an intellectual too good for this life of totting but he never tries to leave it, caring too much to see his Father uncared for. The reality is that deep down he doubts his own abilities and is too afraid to put his head over the parapet. At the heart of good comedy there sits such tragedy, faith and love.