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
1979 here, but of course on BBC4 we’re a few weeks ahead so some of the tracks Tony plays will have been and gone from our perspective, though there’s a chance to hear the likes of Born To Be Alive, Babylon’s Burning and Morning Dance which got pretty short shrift due to the various dropped shows. Then it’s the music that accompanied the last Scottish Commonwealth Games (plus Creamguide’s holiday to West Wales, fact fans) this week in 1986.
Subscribe to Creamguide
Points of View
- In 'TITAN FILMS', Enoch Sneed says: "DO keep up TV Cream! ‘The Sandwich Man’ was neither silent, nor a short. Surely you remember it from the Saturday 3pm slot on BBC2?"
- In 'Quantel', Olaf Schirm says: "I did use the Quantel Mirage at that times as one of the few (or the single?) operator(s) in Germany. It needed to be programmed in Pascal if you did not..."
- In 'BURNETT, Paul', Phillip Robinson says: "I totally agree with Nick o Teen, Paul was sadly so underated, I stopped listening to Radio One,when he left in Sept 1982, deemed to old..38..."
- In 'Wilderness Road', Matra Rancho says: "I recall the mild ‘Points Of View’ controversy about the amount of times an exasperated Cage said “Christ!” to his..."
- In 'The Children’s Film Foundation', Tony says: "Does anyone remember a movie about a boy and an old man who were out to catch a giant eel. The kid eventually catches it with a..."