We all loved a bit of magic in the 80’s and we grew up with the best magician around. No, not Paul Daniels… Sooty! Although he never uttered a single word, he was a kids TV fave! There is a bit of history surrounding our little yellow bear. Let’s take a look back at Sooty and friends and some interesting facts about the gang!
1. Harry Corbett
Harry Corbett first brought Sooty to our screens back in 1952 on a BBC TV Show called Talent Night. Matthew was born in Bradford and is nephew to Harry Ramsden (Fish and Chips). Corbett used to play the piano in the Harry Ramsden restaurant in Guiseley.
2. Matthew Corbett
In 1976, Harry’s son Matthew, who had previously worked on Rainbow as part of the trio Rod, Matt and Jane, took over as presenter of The Sooty Show. Sooty’s magic powers were brought into action with the famous catchphrase “Izzy Whizzy, Let’s get Bizzy!”
Sweep joined his friend Sooty in 1957. Sweep speaks in a high pitch squeaking sound and can be found on YouTube squeking along to hits such as Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen!
Soo joined in 1964 as Sooty’s girlfriend and was originally voiced by Harry Corbett’s wife, Marjorie. In 2007, Soo appeared on and won a puppet special of The Weakest Link.
How exciting was this! Worlds collided as Sooty came to visit the Rainbow gang! You can just about make him out with Matthew in this photo.
6. They Think It’s All Over
In 1997 Matthew and Sooty appeared on BBC sports panel show, They Think It’s All Over. Sooty managed to soak presenter Nick Hancock with his famous water pistol.
7. Iron Maiden
Iron Maiden Drummer Nicko McBrain is a huge Sooty fan and has appeared on The Sooty Show. He has also dressed in a Sooty costume for some of his gigs.
8. Connie Creighton
Connie was a friend of the Corbett family and a regular guest on The Sooty Show. She also toured Theatres with Matthew to assist with the live shows.
Little cousin Scampi first appeared on our screens in 1990.
Butch was able to talk. He first appeared in 1970 but was then withdrawn before returning to play a villain.
Who can remember Ramsbottom, the snake from Yorkshire?
12. Richard Cadell
Richard Cadell bought the rights for Sooty for around £1 million in 2007 and in 2008 he paid £3100 at auction for the very first sooty puppet that belonged to Harry Corbett (pictured in the first photo of this article).