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
Well, Creamguide’s mum thought last week’s episode was the best of the series, as indeed did we, though we’re sure we’re not spoiling too much when we say we almost certainly haven’t seen the last of Clara in this series, and rightly so because we wouldn’t have liked our last view of her to be that rather nasty jumper. She’s not in this one, though, and nor is anyone but the Doctor as it’s the first ever single-handed episode, and we’re sure Capaldi will rise to the occasion.
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Points of View
- In 'PICK OF THE DAY', Darthflanflinger says: "I used to stumble in late to Simon Frith’s seminars at the University of Strathclyde, reeking of chicken pakora that I used to buy at..."
- In 'Insight', Scott McPhee says: "Another segment on Insight was ‘Joe’s Gang’. The only thing I remember from this, was how Joe and his friends helped out an elderly..."
- In 'Only Fools and Horses', Richard Davies says: "It drifted a little into drama with the 50 minute episodes & annual extended specials, but the quality of the series was there right..."
- In 'Only Fools and Horses', Barbersmith says: "If this had finished after series four it would stand up there with the greatest sitcoms ever. Sadly, it didn’t. Mawkish, over-long,..."
- In 'One Man and his Dog', Barbersmith says: "Absolutely spot on Jim."