PA • GETTY
Steptoe and son writer Alan Simpson has died aged 87
Ray Galton and Simpson created sitcoms including Hancock's Half Hour and Steptoe and Son together.
A statement from his manager Tessa Le Bars read: "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."
Galton and his family also paid tribute in a joint statement, saying: "There are no words to express our sense of loss and sadness at the passing of Alan Simpson, Ray's partner and family friend over the last 70 years.
"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. We respectfully request there are no attempts to contact the Galton family home at this time."
Steptoe and Son was one of the most popular series on the BBC, running for eight series from 1962 to 1974.
Alan died after a 'long battle with lung disease'
Stars we lost in 2017
Wed, February 8, 2017
Remembering the celebrities and famous personalities who passed away in 2017.
1 of 14
Richard Hatch, best known for his role in Battlestar Galactica, has died aged 71
Get Quotes on Home Insurance
Elton John pays touching tribute to George Michael
Richard Hatch dead: Star of Battlestar Galactica dies aged 71
I am deeply saddened to lose Alan after a brave battle with lung disease.
Alan Simpson's manager
Galton and Simpson were both awarded OBEs in the 2000 honours list and went on to bag themselves a BAFTA fellowship in May of last year for their comedy writing.
The partnership's big break came with the Derek Roy vehicle Happy Go Lucky, although this was not a huge success. The Hancock connection began with their involvement with later radio variety series, and from November 1954 continued with Hancock's Half Hour on radio, with a series featuring their scripts for Hancock then running on television between 1956 and 1961.
In October that year Hancock ended his professional relationship with the duo, as well as with Beryl Vertue; who worked with the writers at their agency Associated London Scripts.
Tributes have been pouring in for the star
Galton and his family paid tribute in a joint statement
After their association with Hancock had ended, Galton and Simpson wrote the series Comedy Playhouse between 1961 and 1962, which were ten one-off half-hour plays for the BBC. One play in the series, The Offer, was well received, and from this emerged Steptoe and Son; which was about two rag and bone men, father and son, who live together in a squalid house in West London.
After the tragic news emerged online, tributes for the star immediately started to pour in, with one person posting: "Alan Simpson – of Galton and Simpson – has died. Total legend."
"#RIP Alan Simpson. Hancock & Steptoe were among the best written shows of their kind," a second wrote.
A third added: "So saddened by the passing of Alan Simpson. I've been a Steptoe and Hancock fan most of my life and regularly watch or listen to their shows."