The British and Television (Steptoe & Son, Divided We Stand)

In the light of this epiphany I even managed to make sense of the state of mind which led to the making of such brilliant examples of native comedy as the episode Divided We Stand (1972) from the sitcom Steptoe & Son. In this episode, middle-aged Harold, who lives with his senile dad, decides, after the latter’s insistence on repainting the house in dark green and chocolate, (“they don’t show the dirt”) that he needs “some privacy”. To this end he devises a scheme whereby the house is effectively divided into two separate compartments. A turnstile is installed at the entrance and things seem to work somehow until they try to split the telly—the hottest object of desire (and dispute) in an English household even from the early 70’s!

From: Spiros DoikasNo Sex Please, We’re Brutish! (p. 70)

Go to 22:55 for TV scene

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