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
The first of about a trillion election-related programmes we’re billing this week, this is going to be great fun as we take a jaunt through six decades of television election coverage. It’s something we’ve done before, of course, in the fantastic Swing Time in 1997, as featured here the other week and obviously since then we’ve been able to see all the programmes in full thanks to this channel. But it’s always worth seeing it all again, with the girls in the terracotta uniforms, Cliff Michelmore’s avian neighbour and the rest, and there are some new interviews as well.
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Points of View
- In 'PICK OF THE DAY', Richard16378 says: "I noticed some had been hacked down the last time they were shown. I did wonder if it was to keep the run time down, or where some performers..."
- In 'Film Fun', Dristarg says: "“Get onnnn with iiiit!”"
- In 'WITHERS, Googie', Shaz says: "White corridors, Back room boy, The lovers of Joanna Godden, Pink String & sealing wax was a classic. I recall Ending up & Within These Walls."
- In 'Professor Lobster', Anthony stott says: "Shippo was that Alderman William Derbyshire school you attended?"
- In 'Small World of Samuel Tweet, The', andrew's-classmate says: "He kept making a comic slurping sound when he talked."