Image shows from L to R: Alan Simpson, Ray Galton. Copyright: Getty Images / Tony Evans.

Looking For Oil Drum Lane

BBC Radio 4 comedy drama about Ray Galton and Alan Simpson. 1 episode in 2018. Stars Marc Wootton, Barry Castagnola, James Hurn, Phil Cornwell and others.

Looking For Oil Drum Lane

A dramatisation of Ray Galton and Alan Simpson's comedy writing partnership

Genre
Comedy Drama
Broadcast
2018
Channel
BBC Radio 4
Episodes
1
Starring
Marc Wootton, Barry Castagnola, James Hurn, Phil Cornwell, Ian Pearce, Toby Longworth, Ray Galton and Alan Simpson
Writer
Ian Pearce
Director
Andrew McGibbon
Producer
Andrew McGibbon

A dramatisation of Ray Galton and Alan Simpson's comedy writing partnership - from Tony Hancock's departure to striking gold with Steptoe And Son.

Weaving archive interview material from Galton & Simpson with newly written scenes, the show follows the tortuous search for Oil Drum Lane, the fictional address of Steptoe & Son.

Background Details

Ray Galton and Alan Simpson met in a tuberculosis sanatorium in 1948. They became friends through a shared passion for radio comedy. To amuse themselves, they broadcast their own sketches over the hospital radio. After sending their material to famous comedy writers of the day Denis Norden and Frank Muir, Alan and Ray were encouraged to post some scripts to the BBC. An unexpectedly positive response left the fledgling writers ecstatic.

Soon they became regular sketch writers for the BBC. They met Tony Hancock and rose to the top of their profession. But when Hancock decided to go it alone, Galton and Simpson were devastated and left high and dry.

The team was then commissioned by the colourful head of light entertainment at the BBC, Tom Sloane, to write ten comedy plays - but the loss of Hancock generated an impenetrable writer's block - until they hammered out a pilot sitcom that became Steptoe And Son.

Production Details

Production company
Laugh track
None

Broadcast details

First broadcast
Sunday 16th December 2018 on BBC Radio 4 at 7:15pm
Episode length
30 minutes
Last repeat
Saturday 22nd December 2018 at 5:30am on Radio 4 Extra