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Steptoe and Son creators Ray Galton and Alan Simpson are to be honoured with the BAFTA Fellowship award on Sunday.
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The scriptwriting pair will receive the prestigious accolade, the highest bestowed by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts on an individual, at Sunday’s TV BAFTA Awards.
The prize is handed out in recognition of “an outstanding and exceptional contribution to film, television or games”.
Ray said: “We are happy and honoured to accept this Award on behalf of all the Blood Donors, Test Pilots, Radio Hams and Rag and Bone Men of the 20th Century without whom we would probably be out of a job. Thank you all.”
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Anne Morrison, Chair of BAFTA, said: “Having created some of the most iconic characters and programmes over the past few decades, it comes as no surprise that Alan Simpson and Ray Galton will be receiving the BAFTA Fellowship this year.
“Alan and Ray have had such successful careers spanning over 60 years, with credits such as Steptoe and Son and Hancock’s Half-Hour, two hugely popular sitcoms. They are rightly considered the trailblazers of the situation comedy format.”
BBC sitcom Steptoe and Son ran for 12 years from 1963-1974 and helped the pair win the Writers’ Guild Award in 1962 and 1963.
The series followed the lives of a father-and-son rag and bone business, with the titular characters played by Wilfrid Brambell and Harry H. Corbett.
Galton and Simpson also created sitcom Hancock’s Half-Hour and wrote for comedians including the legendary Frankie Howerd.
Previous winners of the BAFTA Fellowship award include Michael Palin, Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders, Sir Bruce Forsyth, Melvyn Bragg, Sir David Attenborough, Julie Walters and Jon Snow, who was honoured with the accolade last year.