[Popular: Writers and Creators of the BBC series Ray Galton, left, and Alan Simpson, right.]
These situations are tragic, not funny. They are rooted in poverty, crime, age, class, greed and lack of education. So why do we laugh? When TV comedy started, it was modelled on the variety acts of the music halls. Galton and Simpson were 21-year-old novice gag-writers, friends who had spent their teens in a sanatorium recovering from tuberculosis, when they were hired by BBC radio to script comedy hours for the Light Programme.