Matthew Corbett

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Matthew Corbett
Peter Graham Corbett

(1948-03-28) 28 March 1948 (age 75)
  • Actor
  • comedian
  • magician
  • puppeteer
  • television presenter
  • writer
Known forHost of The Sooty Show, Sooty & Co.
SpouseSallie Corbett
ParentHarry Corbett

Matthew Corbett (born Peter Graham Corbett on 28 March 1948) is an English former actor, singer, comedian, magician, puppeteer, television presenter, and writer,[1] best known for presenting The Sooty Show and later Sooty and Co.[2] He is the son of Sooty's creator, Harry Corbett, and took over the show from his father in 1976. He retired in 1998.[3]


Corbett was born in Guiseley, West Riding of Yorkshire, on 28 March 1948. In the late 1960s he had to choose another name when joining the performing arts trade union Equity, as there was already a Peter Corbett registered. He kept his surname and chose to go by the first name Matthew, retaining the name throughout his television career.[3]

Corbett appeared in the Doctor Who serial The Dæmons (1971) as a character called Jones[4] 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 on known as Rod, Jane and Roger and finally being better known as Rod, Jane and Freddy.

In 1976, Corbett left Rainbow to take over The Sooty Show from his father Harry, who was retiring (he made a special guest appearance on Rainbow with Sooty in the episodes "1000th Birthday Party" and "The VIP"). Corbett retired in 1998 after 22 years, and chose Richard Cadell to replace him.

In January 2008, he reappeared on television, presenting Locks and Quays, a regional interest programme shown in the ITV Granada area (North West England),[5] featuring a journey from the east to the west coast of England, along waterways such as the Humber estuary, the Aire and Calder Navigation and the Leeds and Liverpool Canal.[3]

On Sooty's 60th birthday in 2012, he said that the bear was "in, or should I say on, the right hands".[6]

Personal life[edit]

Corbett's great-uncle was the fish and chip shop chain owner Harry Ramsden.[2][failed verification]

Corbett contracted COVID-19 in 2020. He nearly died from the disease, after he contracted pneumionia, which led to atrial fibrillation and had to spend 10 days in intensive care.[7]

As of 2020, he stated he and his wife planned to reside in a retirement village in Horsham, West Sussex.[7]


Year Title Role Notes
1971 Doctor Who Jones Episode: The Dæmons
1974–1976, 1986, 1990 Rainbow Himself 148 episodes (Main) 2 episodes (Guest)
1971–1992 The Sooty Show Himself/Presenter 127 episodes; also writer
1972 Pardon My Genie Waiter 1 episode
1993–1998 Sooty & Co. Himself/Presenter 90 episodes; also writer and producer
1998 Blue Heelers Dion Cameron 1 episode
2011 Sooty Himself 1 episode


  1. ^ "Matthew Corbett Filmography". IMDb. Retrieved 20 December 2022.
  2. ^ a b Tims, Interviews by Anna (6 August 2012). "How we made: Brenda Longman and Matthew Corbett on The Sooty Show". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 9 August 2016.
  3. ^ a b c "From sooty to the canals - life with Matthew Corbett". Warrington Guardian. Retrieved 9 August 2016.
  4. ^ "The Dæmons". BBC Online. Retrieved 8 February 2021.
  5. ^ "Canal & River Trust". Retrieved 17 February 2013.
  6. ^ "The Times & The Sunday Times".
  7. ^ a b "Sooty star Matthew Corbett 'nearly died from coronavirus' after 10 days in intensive care". Smooth Radio.

Further reading[edit]

  • Tibballs, Geoff (1990). The Secret Life of Sooty. Letchworth, UK: Ringpress Books. ISBN 0-948955-56-2.

External links[edit]