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 South Bank Show
Wednesday, 20.00, Sky Arts
Lots of Sky Arts and Radio 3 in Creamguide this week, but all the shows we’re highlighting are suitably lowbrow, we’re sure you’ll agree. And we’ll probably be watching football instead of them as well, to be honest. In any case, in this programme Melvyn meets Russell T Davies, who’s always a hugely engaging and entertaining interviewee. We always love hearing about his early career, not least because we used to be very fond of kids shows from BBC North West, though he’s equally good value discussing his current stuff, not least because he’s always candid and is perfectly happy to talk about his flops as well as his hits.
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Points of View
- In 'Creamvote semi-final #1', Anthony says: "I like the original Who theme done by Delia Derbyshire as it’s the best version yet and has all the necessities of a sci-fi signature..."
- In 'PICK OF THE DAY', Richard16378 says: "I’ve been hoping the BBC4 repeats would get to 1982 even since the started. This is mainly because it’s when I started to watch TOTP..."
- In 'PICK OF THE DAY', Palitoy says: "Also worth noting – to reiterate a point made in one of the Cream Amigo’s recent (and great) commentary-casts – is that the..."
- In 'Sons and Daughters', Scott McPhee says: "Ally Fowler, who starred in Sons and Daughters, is still acting and performing. She sings in a pop group called The Chantoozies."
- In 'Monkey', Scott McPhee says: "“Steamroller schoolboy cult due to then-novelty kung-fu scenes, bonkers narrative, that theme song, and magic-summoning blowing-on-fingers..."