Sooty is a well known puppet character, that has been appearing on British television from 1952. He was a hand puppet bear, who first appeared in a show called ‘Saturday Special’, but soon had his own show. He was operated by Harry Corbett. Although Sooty was mute to the audience, he could communicate with Harry. His antics always included slapstick, at Harry’s expense.
In 1957, Harry introduced a friend for Sooty, a dog with long ears and a red nose: Sweep. Much later Harry also introduced Soo, a black and white female bear.
The show always ended with Harry saying: ‘Bye bye everyone! Bye! Bye!’
1948 – Harry Corbett purchases a bear glove puppet at Blackpool pier to entertain his children.
1952 – Harry and Sooty, make their first appearance on the BBC’s Talent Night television program.
1952 – Harry and Sooty become regulars on Saturday Special, a BBC children’s television program.
1955 – Sooty gets his own show: ‘The Sooty Show’.
1957 – Sweep the dog joins ‘The Sooty Show’.
1964 – Soo, Sooty’s panda bear girlfriend, makes her first appearance.
1976 – Matthew Corbett, Harry Corbett’s son takes over as the operator.
1993 – Sooty signs with Granada Television for a new series, Sooty and Co.
1996 – Sooty becomes a cartoon series.
Sooty & Co
Sooty & Co is a British children’s television series that ran for six series from 6 September 1993 to 14 December 1998. The series about Matthew Corbett, and puppets Sooty, Sweep, Soo and Little Cousin Scampi, as they run a junk shop in Manchester.