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
Given he’s on a million other radio stations, it’s no surprise Tony’s appearances outside of his regular Saturday slot are so infrequent on this station, though we can usually count on him to show up on a Bank Holiday, usually with a theme or chart. That’s the case this time as he presents three hours of original versions of songs that you may know better as covers, plus of course Tony’s trademark banter to while away a dull drive.
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Points of View
- In 'PICK OF THE DAY', Richard Davies says: "I remember the programme made for their 18 birthday was really good. Lots of archive footage, at the time Newsround seemed to have a feature..."
- In 'PICK OF THE DAY', Richie Brown says: "There’s the thing – Morecambe and wise came second to…Ant and Dec. Oh dear, Channel 5 still the preserve of the brain dead and..."
- In 'TTV', Richard16378 says: "Other segment of this I remember was Top Of The Mops, a music show with an audience of mops pointing upwards."
- In 'Erasmus Microman', Applemask says: "Fuck you, this could only have been awesome, because Ken Campbell."
- In 'Yak, The', thedoctorrr says: "I used to love Yak as a kid- possibly one of the most melancholy shows ever produced for kiddies ( can still hum the somewhat sad theme tune even now)...."