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Steptoe and Son (1962-74)


Warning: screenonline full synopses contain 'spoilers' which give away key plot points. Don't read on if you don't want to know the ending!

Loathe Story - First Broadcast 20th March 1972

Harold and Albert play badminton in the yard. Despite Harold's kit and lessons, Albert easily beats him, taunting that he is useless.

That night, Harold has nightmares about his humiliation and starts sleepwalking. He grabs a meat cleaver and is about to attack Albert with it when his father throws water at him.

Harold visits a disinterested, but very Freudian, psychiatrist and tells him about his relationship with his father. He recalls how as a boy he had to wait for hours on the cart outside the pub until his drunken father reappeared. By contrast, his military service in Malaya was blissful. He also remembers his greatest humiliation. He was engaged to a wealthy girl, Bunty, and she and her mother insisted on visiting the yard. A nervous Harold made a fool of himself by affecting airs while Albert disgusted them with his coarseness, culminating in his giving the rest of the party fleas. The engagement was called off and Harold became so infected he had to shave all his hair off.

Armed with tranquillisers, Harold returns home determined to be calm. However, finding out that Albert has been trying to rent his room out, and has joined the exclusive tennis club to which Harold belongs, he ends up chasing his father with a knife.