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 big news from Channel 4 this week is that Jeremy Paxman will be involved in their election coverage, though we’re doubtful this will include an all-night results show as they surely don’t have the resources and about 95% of the coverage involves simply reporting the results which you can’t really do in any kind of alternative way. The channel’s in a bit of a state at the moment but the next episode of this series looks at the impact it made in its golden age, which we would suggest included the period Grade was in charge with ace shows like GBH and The Big Breakfast. What we love about the billing for this episode is that it suggests Ant and Dec Unzipped was one of the most important shows in the history of Channel Four. And that’s right!
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Points of View
- In 'McCloud', iMatt says: "Pretty much inspired by Coogan’s Bluff starring Clint Eastwood?"
- In 'Paddles Up', Graham says: "Watching Paddles Up was very educational and I believe young people do white water rafting in Northampton."
- In 'Brass', Damian says: "It’s BLACKGUARD-not ‘blaggard’."
- In 'The Official Doctor Who Fan Club returns', ann marie louuise white says: "I am biggest fan in the world be course I love doctor who Matthew Robert Smith he is so lovely young Man in..."
- In 'Falling Down ', Gary Turner says: "An amazing film that’s still relevant today than it was when it came out in the 90s. Michael Douglas turely electrifying performance as..."