08/02/2017 12:58 GMT | Updated 08/02/2017 13:01 GMT

'Steptoe And Son' Writer Alan Simpson, One Half Of Galton And Simpson, Has Died Aged 87

One of comedy's great pairings.

Alan Simpson, one half of veteran TV comedy writers Galton and Simpson, has died aged 87, his manager has announced. 

The scriptwriting pair devised and wrote some of the nation’s most enduring comedy series, including ‘Steptoe and Son’, ‘Hancock’s Half Hour’ and ‘Comedy Playhouse’.

Tony Hancock played himself in the comedy devised by Galton and Simpson

Alan Simpson first met Ray Galton, when both men were recovering from TB in a Surrey sanatorium. They based an early work ‘Get Well Soon’ on their time at the hospital, and there is now a blue plaque on the wall commemorating this fortuitous encounter, as well as outside Tony Hancock’s London home. 

Justin Tallis/PA Archive
Galton and Simpson outside Tony Hancock's London home, now marked with a blue plaque


The pair’s break came with ‘Happy Go Lucky’ before ‘Hancock’s Half Hour’ made them writing stars of first radio, then television.

Although he retired from scriptwriting in 1978, his name will forever be included in the list of British comedy greats.  For his efforts, he, along with Ray Galton, was rewarded with a BAFTA fellowship last year.

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