The Magic of Sooty

Still going strong at 61, Sooty has lost none of his magic.

 These days he goes hand in glove with Richard Cadell.

“Sooty is a great British institution”, says Richard, who is charged with safeguarding  the legacy of this loveable little bear. “I feel very much like his guardian”.

 The character was created by Harry Corbett, who was amused by a glove puppet bear at a sideshow, liked the idea, gave it a twist by adding black ears, and “Sooty” was born.  

 The Sooty Show, also starring Sweep and Sue, went on to become one of the longest-running children’s programmes on UK television.

 “All credit to Harry Corbett, his idea was gold dust,” say Richard. “The first toy most children get is a teddy bear. Sooty is cuddly, he also has the fun factor, plus he does magic.  I’m in regular contact with the Corbett family and I respect their vision, I don’t treat Sooty like a cash machine.  I’ve learnt what works and what doesn’t, it’s my passion.”

 Clearly proud of his protégée, Richard gets his job satisfaction from the delighted reaction of the children who fall in love with the character.  

 “When you hear of  a toddler sleeping with Sooty in the bed next to her, you see how much influence he has,” says Richard. “He’s our little bear.  He’s part of the fabric of our society.”

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~ by A_A on December 18, 2009.

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