Steptoe and Son is a British sitcom written by Ray Galton and Alan Simpson about a father-and-son rag-and-bone business. They live on Oil Drum Lane, a fictional street in Shepherd's Bush, London. Four series were broadcast by the BBC from 1962 to 1965, followed by a second run from 1970 to 1974. Its theme tune, "Old Ned", was composed by Ron Grainer. The series was voted 15th in a 2004 BBC poll to find Britain's Best Sitcom.
Steptoe and Son is rare among 1960s BBC television programmes in that every episode has survived, despite the mass wiping of BBC archive holdings between 1972 and 1978. However, all the installments from the first 1970 series and all but two from the second that were originally made in colour only survive in the form of black and white domestic videotape recordings. Myth has it that the episodes were recorded off-air by Galton and Simpson themselves, but in fact they were copies made from the master tapes for them by an engineer at the BBC using a Shibaden SV-700 half-inch reel-to-reel b/w video recorder--a forerunner of the video cassette recorder. In 2008 the first reel of a b/w telerecording of the series 5 episode "A Winter's Tale" (lasting approx 15 minutes) was returned to the BBC; this is the only telerecording of a colour Steptoe and Son episode known to still exist.
The original 2" Quad videotapes of all the episodes of the original 1962-1965 series were wiped in the late 1960s. However, these episodes mostly survive on film transfers of the original videotapes as 16 mm black and white telerecordings. The exception being 'My Old Man's a Tory' which only exists as an optical transfer made from a domestic 405 line reel to reel videotape obtained from Galton and Simpson.
All 55 Episodes plus 2 Xmas specials and 2 films.