Steptoe and Son: who was in sitcom cast, where are actors now, where to watch the series and was there a film?

A new Channel 5 documentary uncovers how the iconic British sitcom Steptoe and Son was made

It is 60 years since the British sitcom Steptoe and Son first came to our screens - it aired on BBC, one of only two channels available in the UK at the time.

The comedy series followed an impoverished father and son rag-and-bone team as they struggled with intergenerational conflict.

Sign up to our What to Watch newsletter

The father, Albert, was a set in his ways grubby old man, while his son, Harold held on to aspirations of better things who wanted to move up in the world and improve his lot.

Harry Corbett (left) and Wilfrid Brambell in Steptoe and Son

Steptoe and Son spawned two film spinoffs in the 1970s and was the inspiration for later monumentally popular sitcoms including Only Fools and Horses and Peep Show.

Channel 5 documentary Steptoe And Son: Secrets & Scandals revisits the making of the programme and includes revelations about a Met Police vice squad operation actively targeting celebrities, and one of the show’s stars struggles with alcoholism.

Who was in the cast of Steptoe and Son?

The cast of Steptoe and son was very small, with only the two main characters appearing in more than five episodes across the show’s eight seasons.

Wilfrid Brambell played the father, Albert Steptoe. Albert disapproves of his son’s airs and graces and is very happy with his position on the bottom of the social pile.

Brambell’s other roles include playing Paul Paul McCartney’s grandad in the Beatles’ comedy A Hard Day’s Night.

Wilfred Brambell with fashion designer Julie Harris and The Beatles during production of A Hard Day’s Night

He also starred alongside Sean Connery in Sword of the Valiant and had a guest appearance in 1970s comedy series All Creatures Great and Small.

Harry Corbett played Harold Steptoe, Albert’s son. Harold’s ambitions to move out of the rag-and-bone business and into something more respectable are constantly thwarted by his father.

Corbett also appeared in the comedy spoof Carry On Screaming, starred as the titular disgruntled newsagent in the series Grundy, and was a storyteller on Jackanory.

Frank Thornton appeared in just five of Steptoe and Son’s 57 episodes in various roles, but also appeared in the second feature film, Steptoe and Son Ride Again.

Thornton went on to star in several great British sitcoms - he played Captain Peacock in Are You Being Served and Truly in Last of the Summer Wine.

The first four seasons of Steptoe and Son were in Black and White, the last four were in colour

Where are the cast now?

Sadly but perhaps understandably as the show’s final episode aired 48 years ago, the show’s main cast have since passed away.

Corbett, who smoked 60 cigarettes a day before cutting down to 20, suffered several heart attacks and died in Hastings in 1982, aged 58.

Brambell died in London in 1985, aged 72, and Thornton died in his sleep in London in 2013, aged 92.

When isSteptoe And Son: Secrets & Scandals on TV?

The 60-minute special documentary will air on Channel 5 on 14 May at 9.20pm. It will be available to watch on My5 shortly after it is first broadcast.

Where can I watch Steptoe and Son?

All eight seasons of Steptoe and Son, including both Christmas specials, are available to watch now on BritBox.

The first Steptoe and Son feature film, also called Steptoe and Son, is available to rent on Amazon Prime Video from £2.49.