|This article is about the character. You may be looking for the television series.|
|Type of animal||Bear (Teddy)|
|Hobbies||magic, mayhem, and custard pies|
Sooty is a British glove puppet and TV character popular in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and other countries. The children's television show which bears the same name and has featured the character since the 1950s was, according to the Guinness Book of Records, the longest-running children's programme in the UK. He was 60 years old on 19th July 2008; as this was close to Nelson Mandela's 90th birthday, Sooty sent him a birthday message as well. Matthew usually on the end of a soaking, although even royalty have fallen foul of the water. Matthew carried on Harry's tradition of ending every show with the line "Bye bye everybody, bye bye", and in Matthew's final ever episode, his final scene was a collection of him saying the immortal words from the preceding years.
In the late nineties, Matthew Corbett retired, marking the end of Sooty and Co. (based around the idea of the Sooty gang running a shop that "sells almost everything") and essentially gifted Sooty to then co-star Richard Cadell, who presented the show through another five series, at first under the name Sooty Heights, then under the name, Sooty, both set at a hotel. He was joined in these by two female co-hosts, starting with Liana Bridges from 1999-2000 who worked in Sooty and Co. in the same period he did, and then Vicki Lee Taylor from 2001-2003, who had previously worked on The Queen's Nose.
Sooty is frequently shown on the CITV Channel in the UK, usually weekdays at 3pm.
In June 2008, it was announced that Richard Cadell had bought the rights to Sooty, having been put up for sale by HIT Entertainment in October 2007. Plans for three new TV show formats are underway, with a reworking of one of Matthew Corbett's stage shows due to tour early next year.
Sooty also had a one-off animated cartoon series in the mid-'90s titled Sooty's Amazing Adventures. It featured Sooty, Sweep, Soo, and Little Cousin Scampi living in an old theatre by the coast. It was produced by Cosgrove Hall Films (the producers of Count Duckula and Danger Mouse); they gave Sweep, and Scampi actual voices and kept Sooty the same, having to nod his head to say "yes" or "no" or miming what his ideas are.
Sooty is currently aired on weekdays at 9.25am (repeats of Series 1) and 8.25am (repeats of Series 2) and brand new episodes air at 7.25am on weekends
- First appears on the BBC's Talent Night (1952)
- Sooty and Harry become regulars on the BBC children's show Saturday Special (1952-1955)
- The Sooty Show is aired on the BBC (1955-1967)
- In 1957 Sooty is joined by Sweep, and in 1964 Soo is introduced as Sooty's girlfriend
- The Sooty Show is cancelled by the BBC, changes to Thames Television and is aired on ITV (1968–1992)
- In 1976 Matthew took over his father's role.
- In 1990, Sooty's little cousin Scampi arrived causing mischief, originally just a one-off character, but joined the line-up one year later.
- Sooty & Co. is aired on ITV with Granada Television (1993–1998)
- Sooty's Amazing Adventures, an animated cartoon series is aired (1996–1997)
- In 1998, Matthew retired and hand-picked Richard Cadell and Liana Bridges to replace him
- Sooty Heights was aired on ITV (1999–2000)
- Sooty was aired on ITV (2001-2004)
- Sooty, and occasionally Sooty Heights, can currently be seen weekdays, 3pm on the CITV Channel in the UK.
- Richard Cadell buys the rights to Sooty, and promises a new stage show, and a new TV series.
- Sooty returns to the west end in two back to back Christmas seasons
- Sooty (2011) Series 1 airs on CITV
- Sooty 2011 series 2 airs on CITV
- Sooty Live Tour (2014) is announced for the first UK tour since 2009
- Sooty performed at Manchester Winter Wonderland in 2013.
- The Sooty Show (1955-1992)
- Sooty & Co. (1993-1998)
- Sooty Heights (1999-2000)
- Sooty (2001-2004)
- Sooty (2011) (in licencing reasons, Sooty and Sweep) 2011-
There was also an animated cartoon series, Sooty's Amazing Adventures, aired from 1996–1997. Sooty appeared on US television on The Mickey Mouse Club, each Tuesday during the first two seasons.
Sooty also had a successful number of (mainly Christmas) stage shows across the UK.
During Matthew Corbett's reign, seven stage shows were performed repetitively. For the first half of the tours, Matthew and Connie Creighton would present, and during the second half, while Matthew was busy writing and filming the TV shows, Connie and Spencer K. Gibbens would present.
- Sooty's Creepy Castle (1984/1985 - 1991/1992)
- Sooty's Picnic (1985/1986 - 1992/1993)
- Sooty's World Cruise (1986/1987 - 1993/1994)
- Sooty's Wild West Show (1987/1988 - 1994/1995)
- Sooty in Space (1988/1989 - 1995/1996)
- Sooty's Circus (1989/1990 - 1996/1997)
- The House That Sooty Built (1990/1991 - 1997/1998)
After Matthew retired, six stage shows toured the country. All starring Richard Cadell, three of them also featured Richard's Sooty Heights co-star, Liana Bridges, with the fourth starring Amanda Howard in Liana's place.
- Sooty's Magical Mystery Tour (1998/1999)
- Sooty's Treasure Hunt (1999/2000)
- Sooty's Magic Farm (2000/2001)
- The Magic and Mayhem Tour (2001/2002)
- The Izzy Wizzy Tour (2002/2003)
- The Comedy and Chaos Tour (2003/2004)
From 2005 to 2008, annual shows, featuring the puppet characters and various different presenters, toured around the UK.
- The Wet and Wild Show (2005)
- The Izzy Wizzy Holiday Show (2006)
- Sooty's Magic Castle (2007)
- Sooty's Magic Wand Factory (2008)
From 2009, stage shows will again feature Richard Cadell, as he tours the country with Sooty and the gang. The first, Sooty in Space, is a reworking of one of Matthew Corbett's scripts.
- Sooty in Space (2009)
- The Sooty Christmas Show (London only) (2011)
- Sooty in Space (London only) (2012)
- Sooty's Birthday bake off (Cadburys world only) (2013)
- Sooty Live Tour (2014) (2014/15)
- Sooty's Wacky Workshop (Cadbury World only) (2014)
- Sooty's Fun House (Cadbury World only) (2015)
The Sooty Live Tour (2014) is a similar plot to Sooty's Birthday bake off in 2013
In the early to mid 1960s, there were at least five Sooty annuals published by the London Daily Mirror. These feature an expanded cast of characters including:
- Sooty, who was shown as white not yellow and wore red trousers.
- Sweep, also white not grey, who walked on all fours like a normal dog, but could stand as a biped to play the bugle and so on.
- Cokey the clown, another close friend of Sooty.
- Mr Fusspot, Mayor of TV Town where the action takes place.
- PC Nab, one of the police of TV Town.
- Calico Joe, a fully clothed cat who smokes, always stands erect as a biped, and is the normal villain.
- Ali Artful, a black man who wears a fez and everyone knows is a thief.
A Sooty annual also appeared in 1991-92.
- Sooty was originally bought by Harry Corbett on Blackpool North Pier for 7s 6d.
- Sooty was originally a completely yellow glove puppet until Harry's wife covered his nose and ears with soot so he would show up more on black and white televisions. This is how Sooty got his name.
- Sooty can only talk in a very light whisper which can only be heard when someone puts their ear up to his mouth.
- Sooty has a very big fondness for honey.
- Sooty has recieved an OBE - an Order of the Bears Empire!
- In Sooty's late-sixties' and early-seventies' shows, a musical act featured were The Sooty Braden Showband. This featured Sooty and friends on various instruments playing alongside Musical Director Alan Braden and his band. The Sooty Show would close with a rousing performance from the band.
- Twice during the Sooty Heights era, ITV2 declared Christmas Day as being "Sooty Day" - and dedicated its schedule to episodes and documentaries about Sooty.
- Sooty appeared on Kellogg's "Puffa Sugar Stars" cereal in the 1960s, then on "Puffa Puffa Rice" cereal starting in 1973.
- The Doug Anthony Allstars wrote a song describing Sooty as a skinhead.
- There used to be an extremely popular 'World of Sooty' museum in Shipley, West Yorkshire open in the early 1990s, but this was later replaced by an animatronic cat exhibition, which was in turn replaced by a marketing agency. There were also Sooty related attractions at the now defunct Granada Studios Tour in Manchester, and also at The American Adventure Theme Park in Derbyshire until the late 1990s. The park has since closed.
- The original Sooty now resides in the northern UK village of Brancepeth near Durham, with owner Charlotte Lonsdale also possessing a more recent version of the famous puppet.
- In March 2007, a man dug up a potato identical to Sooty.
- On Thursday January 13th, 2011, the blue team (headed by antiques expert Anita Manning) on BBC1's "Bargain Hunt" purchased puppets of Sooty and Sweep and a Sooty xylophone for £40. The auctioneer's valuation was £20 based on the fact that "Sooty isn't very commercial any more". When sold at auction, they made £10 (making them a loss of £30). Overall, the blue team lost with a total of £39. When initially purchased, the new-style Sooty theme tune could be heard.
- On Tuesday April 9th, 2013, Sooty and Sweep and Soo appeared as the judging panel in one episode of "The Matt Lucas Awards" Season 2.
- Throughout the franchise, Sooty has always been aged 5.
- In 2009, Sooty along with Sweep and Soo appeared in Peter Kay's Animated All Star Band music video on "Children in Need".
- Sooty was voiced by X-Factor announcer Peter Dickson in the Sooty episode, The Genie.
- Sooty has a Lifelong Membership Card from the International Brotherhood of Magicians.
- Sooty has stated that his favourite magic trick is to make an egg appear on somebody's head, so that it can then smashed by Sweep.
- It is joked in Record Breakers that he's a record holder for being silent for 60 years.
- Sooty and the gang starred in the "Make it!" episode of "Text Santa - Help with Hattitude" in 2013.
- In most illustrations which depict the puppet characters from head to toe, Sooty is often shown wearing red dungarees.
- In 2017, Sooty and Richard Cadell appeared on the BBC games show "Pointless Celebrities" where they read out a selection of questions on children's television, including "which member of the royal family did Sooty squirted in 1955 (Prince Philip). After this Sooty squirted the host, Alexander Armstrong with his water pistol.
- In 2019, Sooty with Richard and Debbie McGee went to the Rays of Sunshine event at Evelina Children's Hospital in London and took on Joe Pasquale and Paul Zerdin with Sam in a "Children in Need" special of "Bargain Hunt". Out of all the money raised by the teams at the auction, Sooty and the rest of the blue team made the most profit from the items they bought. Later that year, Sooty and Richard teamed up with Debbie McGee again for that year's Christmas special of "Pointless Celebrities"; Paul Zerdin and Faye Tozer were also contestants.