Steptoe and Son co-creator Ray Galton dies aged 88
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Steptoe and Son co-creator Ray Galton dies aged 88

COMEDY writer Ray Galton has passed away at the age of 88.

Mr Galton co-created some of the UK's most loved tv shows including Hancock's Half Hour and Steptoe and Son.

Last night, his family revealed that he had passed away after a long struggle with dementia

His writing partner Alan Simpson passed away in 2017 after a long battle with lung disease.

His manager Tessa Le Bars said: “I have had the great honour of working with Ray for over 50 years and for the last 40 as his manager and friend.

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“With his lifelong co-writer, the late Alan Simpson, they were regarded as the fathers and creators of British sitcom.

"The end of an iconic era, but the legacy of Hancock’s Half Hour, Steptoe And Son and over 600 scripts is huge.

“They will endure, inspire and bring laughter to the nation for evermore.”

A statement from the Galton family said: “Ray passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family. We respectfully request there are no attempts to contact the Galton family home at this time.”

Galton and Simpson also wrote television, film and stage scripts for comic talents including Frankie Howerd, Peter Sellers, Leonard Rossiter and Arthur Lowe.

In 2016, they were both awarded Bafta's highest honour, the Fellowship.

Galton and Simpson were perhaps best known for Steptoe and Son, a BBC sitcom about father-and-son pair of rag-and-bone merchants on the make in west London.

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For more than 57 episodes, between 1962 and 1974, the grasping Albert Steptoe and long-suffering Harold inhabited the fictional street of Oil Drum Lane in Shepherd's Bush.

At its peak the show was watched by 28 million people.