UK television writer Alan Simpson, who co-created Hancock’s Half Hour and Steptoe and Son, has died aged 87.
He died this week having a long illness, according to manager Tessa Le Bars: “Having had the privilege of working with Alan and Ray for over 50 years, the last 40 as agent, business manager and friend, and latterly as Alan’s companion and carer, I am deeply saddened to lose Alan after a brave battle with lung disease.”
Together with his writing partner Ray Galton, Simpson created Hancock and Steptoe and – during their long careers – they penned scripts for the likes of Peter Sellers and Frankie Howerd. The duo wrote for the latter from the early 1960s into the mid-1970s, eventually providing the funnyman with his first major series, Frankie Howerd, airing from 1964 through to 1966.
A statement from Ray Galton – who had worked with Simpson for seven decades – and his family said: “From their first attempts at humour in Milford sanatorium, through a lifetime of work together, the strength of Alan and Ray’s personal and professional bond was always at the heart of their success.”
David Walliams tweeted: “Alan Simpson was half of one of the greatest comedy writing duos of all time with Ray Galton Hancock & Steptoe & Son are masterpieces.”
Galton and Simpson received the Bafta fellowship at the Bafta Television Awards last May.
Source: Radio Times