The Sooty Show
Genre: Comedy ·
Release Date: January 16, 1955
Running time: 15m
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The Sooty Show is a British children's television series, created by Harry Corbett, and produced for the BBC from 1955 to 1967, and then for ITV from 1968 until 1992. The programme, part of the Sooty franchise, focuses on the mischievous adventures of the glove puppet character of the same name, alongside his friends Sweep and Soo, and their handler. Between 1955 and 1975, Corbett presented the programme until his retirement, before it was taken over by his son Matthew Corbett. It also co-starred Marjorie Corbett as the voice of Soo from the character's debut in 1964, until her retirement in 1981, whereupon Brenda Longman replaced her.
The programme originally focused on a sketch-based format featuring slapstick comedy, music, and stories, along with additional puppet characters, and later the incorporation of a studio audience. In 1981, Matthew changed the format towards a sitcom setting, in which he and the characters lived within a country cottage and engaged in a new adventure in each episode. The new arrangement retained some elements from the original format such as songs, while introducing narration in a number of scenes featuring the puppets only. In both formats, guests are featured in episodes, alongside the involvement of prop items for gunging and making messes of human performers and guest stars.
The Sooty Show proved a success with children's television, due to the popularity of Sooty, spawning additional sequels including Sooty & Co. in 1993, as well as several stage shows, and a spin-off educational series titled Learn With Sooty. The programme itself was later made available on VHS and DVD, featuring episodes from primarily the 1980s to 1990s.