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
We’re absolutely delighted to report that we did indeed get Bright Eyes! And we’re even more delighted to report that we only got about a minute of it, presumably the most they’re allowed to show for “fair use” before they have to shell out a huge amount of money for it. Not like we haven’t heard it before. Actually that was probably the most exciting thing about the last episode which we thought was pretty rotten, full of videos and repeats, some of which we’ll see again this week as we’ve skipped one, but there’s some decent fare too. We don’t include Monks in that description.
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Points of View
- In 'An A-Z of BBC2′s first 50 years', Richard16378 says: "They also had Mission: Impossible in a similar slot, along with Star Trek."
- In 'Robin Redbreast', Stephen Campbell says: "Now Available on BFI DVD thanks BFI now do some more including the single Dennis Potter plays"
- In 'An A-Z of BBC2′s first 50 years', Adrian says: "Probably worth a mention here about BBC2 showing M*A*S*H every wednesday evening at 9pm in the 1980s for what felt like..."
- In 'Irish RM, The', George White says: "Grandad worked on this, in Ireland. Bowles is a nice bloke apparently."
- In 'Who, What, When', George White says: "Dark Season Dr. Who-it Simon Fenton is the Doctor, incarnated as a teenager when the Time Lords finally track him down. Exiled in the form of..."