VARIOUSLY MONIKERED capers of orange, verbally-challenged, water pistol-toting magic bear-cum-hand puppet possessed by extreme powers of endurance. First “helper” was crotchety old HARRY CORBETT (who’d bought the thing from a Blackpool pier for two shillings), making up a mess of fun on scratchy old black’n’white Beeb in the fifties, usually involving flour. Lots of flour. Thence appeared buffoonish second banana Sweep, grey dog who squeaked, and usually prime victim of slapstick shenanigans. Also fond of singing, which involved tuneless squeaking and, crucially, sticking out his paws to indicate his depth of feeling. (We’ve always admired Sweep’s patience as it must be hard going through life having your every utterence repeated back to you as a question.) Next up were Kipper the cat, Butch the dog and Ramsbottom the snake, all of which were crap and were accordingly forgotten about. Then after much deliberation by BBC chiefs, Sooty was allowed to have a talking panda girlfriend, Soo, so long as there was no onscreen hanky-panky and she did all the housework. When Harry said “Bye bye, everybody, bye bye!” for the last time he handed the whole thing over to son MATTHEW, whose main claim to fame up to that point was founder membership of the RAINBOW Rod, Jane and… triumvirate. Took the whole shebang to Thames, with radical format shift, chiefly involving a pop group (inevitably). Then it changed again, majoring on the country homestead adventures of Matthew and friends, with bizarre bathroom scenes a highlight. Travels in the Sootymobile followed suit, and you even got to see Sooty’s legs now. Top surreal moment was guest appearance by Iron Maiden drummer NICKO McBAIN, who taught Sweep how to wield the sticks. Then Matthew sold the whole lot for £1.4m in 1996, and the thing became a dreadful nostalgia industry pimping ground.
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Creamguide's Pick of the Day
It’s 33 years, almost to the week, since Kraftwerk became probably the unlikeliest act ever to appear at number one in the charts, especially as only a few years before that they were a massive novelty, appearing on Tomorrow’s World and seeming to be as far removed from pop music as you could get. By the time they got to the top slot, though, their sound had appeared frequently in the charts thanks to umpteen bands finding them a total inspiration, many of whom will talk about them on this documentary, though sadly none of the actual band will.
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Points of View
- In 'Creamvote #10 The most unforgettable game show theme!', THX 1139 says: "Larry’s second theme was the old Judy Garland standard The Man That Got Away, well, it was never the..."
- In 'Creamvote #9 The most unforgettable kids’ drama theme!', Des E says: "Now that the poll has closed and ‘Chicken Man’ has taken its expected huge win, may I admit..."
- In 'Marsaud, La famille', Ian says: "I remember my big sister having books at secondary school in the 70s featuring La Famile Marsaud and teaching me what she had learned when I was 4 or..."
- In '58) “Ringo Starr film by Michael Hurll”', Lee M says: "Wherever they are now I salute the ladies of Slough Technical College for their noble terpsichorean efforts in..."
- In 'Pirate Reading Scheme', Errol or Mr M. says: "I used the series of books with the children I taught in the Seventies.I have the full reading scheme and intend to use them with my..."