Sunday 24 April 2011

STEPTOE & SON - Steptoe and Me

I was ten years old and I randomly came across an old TV show on the BBC. It was black and white, which is not something I had time for. But before I had a chance to change the channel, it had me laughing.

It was STEPTOE & SON. I remember the episode very specifically, it was the episode where Albert turns 65.

Everyone has that story about how they first saw a movie when they were 4 and it changed their life forever. I don't have that story. But maybe this was that moment. I don't remember much TV or film from my childhood, at least not in any special way. But I do remember Steptoe & Son.

I would get to school early on a Tuesday, or whatever day it was, and I would sit up against the old shed at the back of the playground and recall the previous night's episode with my friend, Stewart. I don't remember much about Stewart, if anything at all, apart from the fact he also loved Steptoe & Son.

I wasn't a screenwriter at ten years old. I didn't direct films. And I didn't consciously have any tastes (although I was developing a bit of a taste for a girl called Victoria, but she showed no appetite). I wasn't as limited back then. I was free. And Steptoe & Son was glorious. We would watch every episode we could find, and we would talk about it non-stop, and I would impersonate Harold's voice.

Around a similar time, I found The Beatles. There I was, ten years old, and everything I loved was black and white. I didn't have to justify my preferences to anyone, and I didn't feel the need to tweet about it. I'd just watch and laugh and love.

I watched that episode yesterday. When Albert turned 65. It's not as funny to me now, but it has so many of the seeds that bloomed into things that would become a huge part of the essence of who I am. My sense of story, and character, and my love for comedy. Maybe it began that one night, when I accidentally caught an old episode of Steptoe & Son. Maybe that's why this blog is called Kid In The Front Row. Everything I've done since, is just about finding my way back to that feeling of joy that I felt when I discovered Harold & Albert Steptoe. 

Care to share?


  1. I beliave that little things of every day we live or lived make us be who we are. There are facts which are so essentials for who I'm today that sometimes I stay wandering who I would be if it hadn't happen. Like, if I hadn't chaged of scholl that age or had talked to that guy. There are things that are so small and easy to be done and change a big part of our lives, and sometimes we don't do it and lose lots of other things that would come from that one.
    You could have choosed to stay doing nothing, but you're writing a blog, a good blog. It's a good thing you watched Steptoe & Son that day.:)

  2. Yes yes, there's always that one movie. I watched 'small soldiers' when I was a kid, which made me like gadgets so much. And yea there things that happen in life, those thingsl change the course of our lives entirely.

  3. I have never seen Steptoe and Son, but I've seen the American version Sanford and Son. I'd love to know how they compare.

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