Sooty & Co.
|Sooty & Co.|
Sooty and Co. opening theme (1995–1998)
|Genre||Children's television series
|Created by||Matthew Corbett|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of series||6|
|No. of episodes||90|
|Running time||20 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Sooty Films
Cosgrove Hall Films (Opening sequence only)
|Original network||ITV Network (Granada)|
|Original release||6 September 1993– 14 December 1998|
|Preceded by||The Sooty Show (1955–1992)|
|Followed by||Sooty Heights (1999–2000)|
Sooty & Co. was a British children's television series that was produced for six series by Granada Television, that aired on ITV from 6 September 1993 to 14 December 1998. The series centres on Matthew Corbett, and puppets Sooty, Sweep, Soo and Little Cousin Scampi, as they try to run a bric a brac shop in Manchester.
Matthew Corbett runs a shop in Manchester, with puppets Sooty (a yellow bear that can perform magic), Sweep (a squeaking dog), Soo (a female panda), and Little Cousin Scampi (another, if smaller, bear). Sooty and the gang are often getting up to mischief, and it is usually Soo and Matthew that are the more sensible ones.
A regular visitor at Sooty & Co. is Mo (from the market) (played by Brenda Longman, the voice of Soo), and most episodes involve Matthew getting into a mess due to the puppets, whether it is having water poured over him or having cream cakes thrown at his face. Some episodes finish with a song, usually performed by Matthew and the group. Most episodes conclude with the gang and Matthew waving "Bye Bye, Everybody, bye bye".
Full episodes of Sooty & Co. are also available to watch on the Classic Sooty Show YouTube Channel; in addition to this, several copies exist on unofficial YouTube channels.
- Matthew Corbett – presenter.
- Connie Creighton – guest presenter
- Sooty – a mute yellow bear who is the protagonist of the show. He owns a magic wand whose power is invoked using the words "Izzy wizzy, let's get busy". He talks by whispering in people's ears, who then repeat it. As such, his voice is never heard by the viewers.
- Sweep – a dim witted grey dog with a penchant for bones and sausages. He talks by incoherent squeaking, which needs to be "translated" by whoever he is talking to.
- Soo – a calm and collected female panda who acts as the foil for both Sooty and Sweep. She is the only puppet character who can speak coherently. Usually wears a red skirt. Voiced by Brenda Longman.
- Little Cousin Scampi – he is very cheeky and a serial troublemaker. He wears a navy blue school uniform and, like his Big Cousin Sooty, is mute.
- Maureen "Mo" Clinton – a regular visitor with a blonde perm, who never buys anything or gets a refund on things she does buy. Always introduces herself with "Hello (or "cooey"), it's only me, Mo from t'market." Played by Brenda Longman (the voice of Soo).
- Dwayne Pipe – Mo's nephew. A stereotypical geek who is balding and wears thick glasses.
- Shahid - A magician who appeared as the shop suffered a leak and fixed the problem using magic. He also appeared in another episode.
The show was initially shot on the same studio set as Coronation Street, with a few of the sets being visible whenever Matthew and the gang would go outside. A notable episode featured Les and Toyah Battersby appearing on the episode from Series 6, 'Estate Agents', and they were very rude to Matthew. For later series' scenes, the shop frontage was filmed on Whittaker Lane, Prestwich.
A particular controversial episode of the show was "Soo's Babies", where Soo pretended to be pregnant. It received complaints from viewers, made it into the newspapers, and made E4's Top 20 "Most Controversial TV Programmes" at #20. On E4's show, Brenda Longman (who plays 'Mo' and voices 'Soo' in the show), said the idea came about because Matthew tended to write for his daughter.
Matthew stated that he recalled his daughter wandering into his room with a pillow up her jumper, saying she was going to have a baby. He also said how it was a sort of educational piece.
In the same episode, Soo says she feels she has got the whole of the Manchester Football Team inside her, a joke also seen as unsuitable for children by some. In the show's defence, Longman stated how the show was also watched by parents, and that there were jokes in it for parents. Uri Geller said the story was played in a 'nice' and 'humorous' way.
UK VHS & DVD releases
|DVD Title||Release Date||Episodes|
|Sooty & Co – Sooty's Magic Box Of Tricks: Part 1||2007||Pulling The Wool, Tidy Box, Delgrub, The Stain Remover|
|VHS Title||Release Date||Episodes|
|Sooty & Co – Moving In/Bubble Trouble (VC1332)||7 March 1994||Moving In, Bubble Trouble|
|Sooty & Co – Scrap Idea/Buddy Jolly (VC1333)||7 March 1994||Scrap Idea, Buddy Jolly|
|Sooty & Co – Canal Capers/Staff Training (VC1336)||11 July 1994||Canal Capers, Staff Training|
|Sooty & Co – Sooty's Magic Solutions/New Friends (VC1337)||11 July 1994||Sooty's Magic Solutions, New Friends|
|Sooty & Co – Splashing Out/Soo to the Rescue (VC1338)||3 October 1994||Splashing Out, Soo to the Rescue|
|Sooty & Co – World Of Fun/Clocks Galore (VC1339)||3 October 1994||World Of Fun, Clocks Galore|
|Sooty & Co – Camping Out and Other Stories (VC1383)||1 May 1995||A Magical Voice, Bun Fight, Camping Out|
|Sooty – Sooty's Elastic Tricks and Other Stories (VC1414)||2 September 1996||Soo's Spring Cleaning, Sooty's Elastic Tricks, Home Alone Sweep|
|Sooty – Speedy Sweep and Other Stories (VC1419)||2 September 1996||Speedy Sweep, Sweep's Little Accident, Breakdown|
|My Bumper Sooty – Little Shop Of Mischief (VC1441)||12 May 1997||Soo's Babies, Fun Park, Shop-Keeping, Sweep's Family, Dog Trouble|
|Sooty & Co – An Izzy Wizzy Christmas||9 November 1998||Sooty's Christmas Panto, The Gift, World Of Fun, Bun Fight|
|Sooty & Co – Animal Magic||28 February 2000||Pony and Trap, Kennels, Chaffinch|
|Sooty & Co – Sooty's Magic Box Of Tricks||21 August 2000||Splashing Out, Sooty's Magic Solutions, The Stain Remover, Talent Night, Twins, Moose Loose in the House, Now You See Him, Pulling The Wool, Tidy Box, Delgrub|
Other Sooty based shows
Below is a list of other Sooty based shows, before and after Sooty & Co.
|The Sooty Show||1952–1992|
|Sooty & Co.||1993–1998|