The Sooty Show

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The Sooty Show
Sootyshow1983al.jpg
The Sooty Show title card (1981–1984)
Presented by Harry Corbett (1955–1975)
Matthew Corbett (1976–1992)
Starring Marjorie Corbett
(The voice of Soo from
1964–1981)

Brenda Longman
(The voice of Soo from
1981–1992)
Composer(s) Alan Braden
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 43
No. of episodes 481 (92 missing)
Production
Production location(s) Teddington Studios
Running time 10–20 minutes
Production company(s) BBC (1955–1967)
Thames Television (1968–1992)
Distributor BBC (BBC series)
Fremantle Media (Thames series)
Release
Original network BBC (1955–1967)
ITV (1968–1992)
Original release 24 July 1955 (1955-07-24) – 30 November 1992 (1992-11-30)
Chronology
Followed by Sooty & Co. (1993–1998)

The Sooty Show is a British children's television series that aired on BBC Television from 1955 until 1967 when the BBC eventually cancelled The Sooty Show after Paul Fox, the then-controller of BBC One at the time, cleared out some of the long running shows.

After it was cancelled by the BBC that year, The Sooty Show swiftly moved to ITV shortly after the launch of Thames Television in 1968, where the series remained until Thames lost its ITV franchise in 1992.

It features the glove puppet characters Sooty, Sweep (who first appeared in 1957) and Soo (first appeared in 1964), and follows them in their many mischievous adventures. The show was presented from the 1955 to 1975 by Harry Corbett, and from 1976 to 1992 by his son, Matthew, as he bought the rights for Sooty for £35,000 from his father, and acted as the token human being. In 1981, The Sooty Show changed from a sketch-based format with a studio audience into a more sitcom-based format set in the Sooteries cottage.

In 1992, The Sooty Show concluded its final series, when Thames Television lost its franchise as part of the ITV network. So, in 1993 (nearly a year after the series was concluded), the show was replaced/succeeded by Sooty & Co., also presented by Matthew Corbett and was made by Granada TV in Manchester, North-West of England.

Characters[edit]

  • Sooty – A mute yellow male bear who is the main protagonist of the show. He owns a magic wand whose power is invoked using the words, "Izzy wizzy, let's get busy!"
  • Sweep – A grey male dog with a penchant for bones and sausages. He is best known for communicating using bizarre squeaks (these were achieved by original puppeteer Leslie Corbett inserting a reed from an saxophone in his mouth). Sweep serves as Sooty's best friend.
  • Soo – A calm and collected female panda with a normal human voice, who acts as the foil for both Sooty and Sweep. She usually wears a red skirt. Soo serves as Sooty's love interest. Originally voiced by Harry's wife Marjorie Corbett from 1964 to 1981 and voiced by Brenda Longman from 1981 until the show's end. Brenda still voices Soo to this day.
  • Butch – A dark brown male dog, similar to Sweep, but able to talk. Introduced by Harry Corbett in the early 1970s, but withdrawn by Matthew Corbett in 1980 returning to play the part of a villain.
  • Ramsbottom – A brown male snake who spoke in a deep Yorkshire accent and had the habit of telling rather convoluted stories and ditties.
  • Little Cousin Scampi – Sooty's cousin, also mute like Sooty. Introduced in an episode of the same title in 1990 and he became a regular character from 1991.

Episodes[edit]

Broadcast[edit]

In the United Kingdom, The Sooty Show aired on BBC One between 1955 and 1967, and then on ITV between 1968–1992. In Australia the series aired on ABC, and in New Zealand in aired on TVNZ. In the United States it aired on ABC.

UK home media releases[edit]

VHS Title Release Date Episodes
The Adventures of Sooty (VC1049) 7 April 1986 Sleepwalking, Snuffles, The Magic Show, Sooty's Panto
Sooty & Superdog (TV9919) 3 November 1986 All Blocked Up, The Dancer, Superdog
Sooty – Out and About (TV9959) 5 October 1987 Stately Home, Rabbit Trap, Football Crazy
Sooty and Co & Sooty's House (TV8432) 5 October 1987 On the Piste, Down Dog, Marathon, Perfume, Bad Luck, White Lies
Children's Favourites – Volume 2 (TV8011) 7 March 1988 Burglar Box (Compilation VHS with 'Rainbow' and 'Button Moon'.)
Sooty – The Big Surprise (TV8027) 4 April 1988 The Big Surprise, Return of Superdog, Overnight Away
Sooty – Sooty's Time Capsule/Ventriloquism (WP0003) 7 November 1988 Time Capsule, Ventriloquism
The Sooty Christmas Show (TV8041) 7 November 1988 Sooty's Busy Christmas, Hidden Talent
Sooty's Restaurant (TV8055) 6 March 1989 Restaurant, Health Food
Sooty's School Trip (TV8047) 10 April 1989 School Trip, Tap Time, Moving House
Sooty's Stately Home and Other Stories (LL0026) 1 May 1989 Stately Home, Ancestors, Millionaire
Sooty's Magic Lamp and Other Stories (LL0027) 1 May 1989 Sooty's Magic Lamp, Cuddly Toys, Make and Do
Children's Favourites Vol. 3 (LL0032) 1 May 1989 Amateur Dramatics (Compilation VHS with 'Rainbow' and 'Button Moon'.)
Children's Favourites Vol. 4 (LL0033) 1 May 1989 When I Was a Lad (Compilation VHS with 'Rainbow' and 'Button Moon'.)
Children's Summer Stories (TV8060) 5 June 1989 Messing About in Boats (Compilation VHS with 'Rainbow' and 'Button Moon'.)
Sooty's Christmas Party and Other Stories (TV8073) 2 October 1989 Sooty's Christmas Party, Royalty, Get Your Skates on
Children's Favourites: Bedtime Stories (TV8077) 6 November 1989 Star Gazing (Compilation VHS with 'Rainbow' and 'Button Moon'.)
Sooty – Sooty's Favourite Stories (TV8082) 5 February 1990 Radio Control Car, Honking Nose, Sweep's Family
Children's Holiday Favourites (TV8093) 4 June 1990 A Very Special Day (Compilation VHS with 'Rainbow' and 'Rod, Jane and Freddy'.)
Sooty Wants a Pet (TV8098) 2 July 1990 Sooty Wants a Pet, The Unreal Ghostbusters, In Camera
Sooty's Golf Crazy Golf (TV8099) 2 July 1990 Sooty's Golf Crazy Golf, Down Under, Grin and Bear it
Sooty's Bumper Special (TV8112) 10 September 1990 Inventors, Fat and 40, Stay Awake, Nothing Ever Happens, Bowled Over
Sooty and Rainbow (WP0025) 8 October 1990 The Good, The Bad and The Furry (Compilation VHS with 'Rainbow'.)
Children's Club: Children's Favourites (KK0005) 4 February 1991 When I Was a Lad (Compilation VHS with 'Rainbow' and 'Button Moon'.)
Sooty – Sooty's Big Time Video (TV8081) 4 February 1991 Just Not Cricket, Bangers and Smash, Water Sports, Dyb, Dyb Disaster
Sooty Video Fun Pack (TB8001) 5 August 1991 Izzy Wizzy, Love a Duck
Little Cousin Scampi and Other Stories (WH1023) 7 October 1991 Little Cousin Scampi, Sticky Situation, Gardeners for Hire
Sooty Video Fun Pack Re-Release (TB0001) 6 January 1992 Izzy Wizzy, Love a Duck
Sooty – Matt Robot and Other Stories (TV8157) 3 February 1992 Matt Robot, Return of Scampi, Car Boot Sale
Sooty – Hair Today and Other Stories (TV8158) 3 February 1992 Hair Today, Derek's Back, Any 5-Year-Old Can Do it
Sooty – Three Men in a Boat and Other Stories (TV8161) 1 June 1992 Three Men in a Boat, Cars, Trains, Boats and Planes, Swinging the Lead
Sooty – Only Joking and Other Stories (TV8162) 1 June 1992 Only Joking, Boarding House, Bored Games
Sooty – What a Load of Rubbish & Collecting (LW0001) 5 October 1992 What a Load of Rubbish, Collecting
The Christmas Collection (TV8165) 5 October 1992 Early Christmas (Compilation VHS with 'Rainbow and 'The Wind in the Willows'.)
My Bumper Christmas Sooty (TV8266) 27 October 1997 A Summertime Christmas, Little Terrors, Sooty's Christmas Party, Sooty's Busy Christmas
Sooty – Biggest Party Video (TV8269) 23 March 1998 Happy Birthday Sooty, Back to Front, Soo's Party Problem, Sweep's Family, Bored Games
Sooty – Wet & Wild Water Fun 9 October 2000 A Very Special Day, Three Men in a Boat, Water Sports
Cult Kids Classics 2 5 March 2001 Superdog (Compilation VHS with 'Jamie and the Magic Torch', 'Danger Mouse', 'Chorlton and the Wheelies', 'Rainbow', and 'Count Duckula'.)
Sweep Superdog 13 August 2001 Superdog and the Comedian, Bouncers, Hot Stuff, Sweep's Family, Honking Nose, Swinging the Lead
DVD Title Release Date Episodes
Cult Kids Classics 2 5 March 2001 Superdog (Compilation DVD with 'Jamie and the Magic Torch', 'Danger Mouse', 'Chorlton and the Wheelies', 'Rainbow', and 'Count Duckula'.)
Sweep Superdog 13 August 2001 Superdog and the Comedian, Bouncers, Hot Stuff, Sweep's Family, Honking Nose, Swinging the Lead
The Original Sooty Show – Wet & Wild Water Fun 15 July 2002 A Very Special Day, Three Men in a Boat, Water Sports
Classic Kids Hits: from School Disco 8 September 2003 Super Star (Compilation DVD with 'Danger Mouse', 'Rainbow', 'Button Moon', 'Chorlton and the Wheelies', and 'Jamie and the Magic Torch'.)
Sooty – Wet & Wild Water Fun 2 April 2007 A Very Special Day, Three Men in a Boat, Water Sports
The Sooty Show – Izzy Wizzy 7 July 2008 Izzy Wizzy, Little Terrors, Sooty's Magic Lamp
The Sooty Show – Happy Birthday, Sooty 7 July 2008 Happy Birthday, Sooty, Sooty Wants a Pet, Honking Nose
The Sooty Show – Izzy Wizzy Re-Release 19 April 2010 Izzy Wizzy, Little Terrors, Sooty's Magic Lamp
The Sooty Show – Happy Birthday, Sooty Re-Release 19 April 2010 Happy Birthday, Sooty, Sooty Wants a Pet, Honking Nose
Sooty – The Big Surprise 19 April 2010 The Big Surprise, Hidden Talent, Sticky Situation, Little Cousin Scampi, Fanatical Fun
The Sooty Show – Izzy Wizzy Let's Get Busy 13 July 2015 Izzy Wizzy, Little Terrors, Sooty's Magic Lamp

Also, in January 2008, a promotional DVD containing 5 early-1980s episodes was distributed by The Times newspaper, for Fremantle Media. The episodes featured were: Bob a Job; Safety First; Sleep Walking; Connie Comes to Tea; and Sooty's Christmas Panto.

Other Sooty-based television series[edit]

A number of followup Sooty-based television series have resulted from The Sooty Show, including Learn With Sooty (1989–1991), Sooty & Co. (1993–1998), Sooty's Amazing Adventures! (1996–1997), Sooty Heights (1999–2000), Sooty's Magic Show! (2000–2002), and a 2001 version and a 2011 version with simply the title Sooty.

External links[edit]