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On This page: The Sooty Show: Sooty History
Sooty was discovered in Blackpool on July 19th 1948.
Harry Corbett, an engineer from Guisley, was on holiday with his wife Marjorie and children, David and Matthew. While walking on The North Pier Harry spotted a teddy bear puppet in a gift shop. For the pricely sum of 7s6d Harry purchased the little bear and the lives of The Corbett family were about to change forever!
Harry introduced his new partner into his amateur magic act-his name was simply” Teddy “. The silent little bear assisted with the tricks- immortalising the spell-“Izzy Wizzy lets get busy!”
The nation became captivated by Sooty’s naughty antics and soon Harry and Sooty were regulars on “Saturday Special.”
Sooty and Sweep were to meet many friends along the way…Including Butch the growling bulldog. .Kipper and Tigs..-two Tom cats ‘Enry the Robot and Ramsbottom the Snake.
However it was the little Panda Soo who was to become the next full time family member, joining the gang in 1964.
Sooty’s popularity kept on growing, with millions of children watching The Sooty Show both on TV and in Theatres across the country. In 1976 Harry’s son Matthew took over as Sooty’s right hand man.
Harry and Marjorie Corbett retired to Weymouth where they still performed with Sooty. Sadly in 1989 Harry passed away aged 71.
New generations watched Matthew Sooty Sweep and Soo on “The Sooty Show” in 1993 Sooty set up his own Junkshop-“Sooty and Co”.
Matthew Corbett decided to retire in 2000. The hunt was on to find a new partner for Sooty. Matthew recalled that in 1985 a young magician had been a guest on the TV show. His name was Richard Cadell.
Richard had started his show business career at the age of eight, making television news as the youngest Punch and Judy man in Great Britain! By the age of fifteen he had excelled at magic becoming the Magic Circles Young Magician of the Year.
Richard went on to become one of Britain’s top illusionists appearing on stage and television all over the world. His most famous illusion was when he and his motorbike vanished mid air- only to appear seconds later at the back of the theatre!!
He had also worked as a radio DJ and children’s TV presenter on Sky TV. It was this combination of skills that gave him the perfect qualifications to take on Sooty and the gang.
Richard became Sooty’s new presenter both on TV and stage. The new look show saw Sooty and the gang running The “Sooty Heights” hotel.
In 2008, 60 years after Sooty’s discovery in Blackpool, Richard Cadell purchased all the rights associated with Sooty. Matthew Corbett said Sooty “couldn’t be on better hands”
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