sooty adj : of the blackest black; similar to the color of jet or coal [syn: coal-black, jet, jet-black, pitchy] [also: sootiest, sootier]
- Rhymes: -ʊti
In the early to mid 1960s, there were at least five Sooty annuals published by the London Daily Mirror. These features an expanded cast of characters including:
- Sooty, who was shown as white not yellow and wore red trousers.
- Sweep, also white not grey, who walked on all fours like a normal dog, but could stand as a biped to play the bugle and so on.
- Cokey the clown, another close friend of Sooty.
- Mr Fusspot, Mayor of TV Town where the action takes place.
- PC Nab, one of the police of TV Town.
- Calico Joe, a fully clothed cat who smokes, always stands erect as a biped, and is the normal villain.
- Ali Artful, a black man who wears a fez and everyone knows is a thief.
A Sooty annual also appeared in 1991-92.
- The Sooty show had a number of celebrities from all walks of life making an appearance on the show. Most notable was Iron Maiden drummer Nicko McBrain who is a self confessed Sooty fan and always has the puppet as a mascot on the front of his drumkit, and has occasionally donned a full size Sooty costume at shows as an entrance.
- A number of famous faces made cameo appearances - usually as themselves - in Sooty and Co, including Gareth Hunt, Matthew Kelly, William Roache, Jack Dee, Paul Merton, Shane Ritchie, Frank Bruno, Neil Buchanan, Jim Bowen, Harry Hill, Barbie Wilde and Father Christmas!
- Sooty and Matthew Corbett had appeared on a Christmas episode of They Think It's All Over, attacking Nick Hancock with Sooty's water pistol after Hancock ruled against them in one game. Hancock exacted revenge by emptying a bottle of water over Corbett's head.
- Sooty also appeared in the video for "Is This the Way to Amarillo" 2005 remake mimed by Peter Kay. Sooty and his co star Sweep (puppet) appeared on the shoulders of Peter Kay as he ran down a corridor.
- Sweep (albeit with his face blurred) appeared in an episode of the BBC sketch show Goodness Gracious Me
ControversyAlthough an innocent children's TV programme, Sooty did occasionally come under some controversy with the British watchdogs. Moments included:
- In 1964, the show was accused of placing sex into children's television, by the introduction of Sooty's Panda girlfriend, Soo.
- Pushing hard drugs - a 1980's episode had Sooty attempting to lock Sweep into a tranquilizing booth.
- Being anti-police - Sooty hitting PC Nab over the head with a toy hammer.
- Product placement was occasionally featured on the Sooty Show and Sooty & Co in the 1990s. Examples of this includes the episode where Sooty, Sweep et al go to Camelot Theme Park, at the time owned by the Granada TV company, and featuring a daily Sooty show in its theatre. This was featured as one of the four pictures from the Odd One Out round on an episode of Have I Got News for You on the subject of product placement.
- The character of Butch being criticised as being too frightening to young children.
- During the mid-nineties an episode was broadcast where Soo pretended to be pregnant in order to play a trick on Matthew, following a visit from a (human) friend who had just had a baby. This storyline has subsequently been twisted into an urban legend that Soo was actually pregnant despite the converse being clear to the viewer from the start of the episode. Such storylines are commonplace in television for young children who are likely to question the appearance of new siblings. Soo's ruse included pretending to crave unusual foods, morning sickness and placing a cushion underneath her dress. The combination of these "symptoms" was seemingly enough to fool Matthew for the duration of the episode.
- In Sooty's late-sixties' and early-seventies' shows, a musical act featured were The Sooty Braden Showband. This featured Sooty and friends on various instruments playing alongside Musical Director Alan Braden and his band. The Sooty Show would close with a rousing performance from the band.
- Richard Cadell actually made a guest appearance in The Sooty Show Christmas Special in the 1980s - 10 years before taking over from Matthew Corbett.
- A large number of shows ended with or contained a song relating in someway to the episode, although over the years a number of songs were repeated and quickly became classics - the most famous being "Battle Of The Drums" and "Home Is Where The Heart Is".
- Twice during the Sooty Heights era, ITV2 declared Christmas Day as being "Sooty Day" - and dedicated its schedule to episodes and documentaries about Sooty.
- Sooty appeared on Kellogg's "Puffa Sugar Stars" cereal in the 1960s, then on "Puffa Puffa Rice" cereal starting in 1973.
- The Doug Anthony Allstars wrote a song describing Sooty as a skinhead.
- There used to be an extremely popular 'World of Sooty' museum in Shipley, West Yorkshire open in the early 1990s, but this was later replaced by an animatronic cat exhibition, which was in turn replaced by a marketing agency. There were also Sooty related attractions at the now defunct Granada Studios Tour in Manchester, and also at The American Adventure Theme Park in Derbyshire until the late 1990's. The park has since closed.
- The original Sooty now resides in the northern UK village of Brancepeth near Durham, with owner Charlotte Lonsdale also possessing a more recent version of the famous puppet.