||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (February 2013)|
|Born||Peter Graham Corbett
28 March 1948
Guiseley, West Riding of Yorkshire, England
|Occupation||Actor, writer, puppeteer|
Matthew Corbett (born 28 March 1948, Guiseley, West Riding of Yorkshire, England, born Peter Graham Corbett) is an English television personality, best known for presenting The Sooty Show and later Sooty and Co. He was the son of Sooty's creator Harry Corbett. He took over Sooty from his father in 1976, and retired in 1998.
Corbett was born in Guiseley, West Riding of Yorkshire. In the late 1960s, he had to choose another stage name, as there was already another Peter Corbett registered at drama school. He kept his surname, but when choosing his new first name he was told it must be a name that is long, and so he chose the name of Matthew; for television purposes he has always remained as Matthew Corbett.
He appeared in the 1971 Doctor Who serial The Dæmons as a character called Jones and was a regular performer in the Thames Television children's show Rainbow, where he sang and performed and wrote with Rod Burton and Jane Tucker as Rod, Matt and Jane, later better known as Rod, Jane and Freddy.
In 1976 Corbett left Rainbow to take over The Sooty Show from his father, Harry Corbett, on his retirement (he made a special guest appearance on Rainbow with Sooty in the episode "The VIP"). Matthew himself retired in 1998 after twenty two years, and hand picked Richard Cadell to replace him; the show is still going strong.
Life after Sooty
As of 2013, Corbett has withdrawn from most public and media attention and lives in Lymm, Cheshire with his wife Sallie. In 2005, he noted that he would be playing guitar with his friend John Gray around pubs in Manchester. For this, he has gone back to his real name Peter Corbett. John Gray subsequently retired from performing to become a full-time piano teacher and Peter carried on playing guitar and singing in local pubs on his own. He started his solo career at pubs local to his home in Lymm.
In January 2008, Corbett reappeared on television, presenting Locks and Quays, a regional interest programme shown in the ITV Granada area (North West England), featuring a journey from the east to the west coast of England, along waterways such as the River Humber, the Aire and Calder Navigation and the Leeds and Liverpool Canal.
On Sooty's 60th birthday in 2008, he said that the bear was "in, or should I say on, the right hands".
Corbett's great uncle was the fish and chip shop chain owner Harry Ramsden, as revealed on Locks and Quays.
In 2010, Corbett wrote a song called "I Hear a Voice" and intended to release it for charity. The song was about the recent (at that time) Chilean mining collapse. The song was sung by Corbett and two friends, one being a local singer named Duncan, the other was Dale North, a Manchester musician and film maker. North also made the promotional video for the song recorded and shot in Corbett's own home studio. The song was pulled from release at the last minute due to the coincidence of another mining disaster where the outcome was different. Later in 2010 Corbett allowed North to film a section of his film, One Weekend in his garden, although Corbett was not in the film.
In 2011, Corbett returned in an episode of Sooty, called "Choco Chimp" where he played a van driver for Matt's Snax delivering chocolate where he travelled down memory lane and revealed the reason he had to retire.
- "Canal & River Trust". Waterscape.com. Retrieved 2013-02-17.
- Tibballs, Geoff (1990). The Secret Life of Sooty. Letchworth, UK: Ringpress Books. ISBN 0-948955-56-2.