Sitcom writer Alan Simpson passes away

London, Feb 8 (IANS) Alan Simpson of writing duo Galton and Simpson has died at the age of 87.Simpson had undergone a "long battle with lung disease", manager Tessa Le Bars said, reports Bars said: "Having had the privilege of working with Alan and Ray (Galton) 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's family said there were "no words" to express their feelings at the death of "Ray's partner and family friend over the last 70 years".The pair created sitcoms including "Hancock's Half Hour" and "Steptoe and Son".Simpson and Galton met at Milford sanatorium in Guildford as teenagers, having both been diagnosed with tuberculosis.They went on to write television, film and stage scripts for stars including Peter Sellers, Leonard Rossiter and Frankie Howerd.The pair were honoured with a Bafta fellowship last year.A statement from Galton and his family said: "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."