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.
TVC on Twitter
Creamguide's Pick of the Day
“Do you have the envelope about your person, with the 1-2-3?” Always a sure sign the festive season was almost upon us, especially with the BBC2 afternoon repeat which we recall was once stuck on to replace some cancelled racing but was so popular it became an annual fixture. Been a big change over the years, mind, from an informal postcards- only feature on Sportsview to the prestigious evenings at the QEII Conference Centre with the funnies, to the current big arena shows, as indeed sport has changed, as this programme will demonstrate.
Subscribe to Creamguide
Points of View
- In '41) “Comes with a free Catherine wheel!”', Richard16378 says: "These were great, & it helped that nostalga for the 1970s was big at the time it was made, so a..."
- In '54) “The drawings were by Valerie Pye!” ', Richard16378 says: "I admit to studying end credits, not just for who appearred in front of the camera. Puzzling over what jobs..."
- In 'Bottom Line, The', Richard16378 says: "I remember Danny Baker tried to have it put in Room 101 & ended up having to take a box set of it home with him!"
- In 'Duncan Dares', Richard16378 says: "I remember he also tried being a truck racer & a tight rope walker. There was a spin-off book with write up of some episodes, complete with a..."
- In 'Duncan Dares', Chris says: "Copy of Duncan dares as a firefighter"