Glove puppet sensation SOOTY re-emerged on TV in 2011, it was all thanks to RICHARD CADELL. Next year THE SOOTY SHOW will go on tour throughout the UK.
Richard told Telly Binge that the theatre tour will be brand new content, “It was written especially for 2017 and will feature Sooty, Sweep and Soo trying to stage a talent show. It has all the ingredients from magic, music, audience participation and laughs.”
The dates have been announced, with Richard adding there is one standout. “The Grand Theatre Blackpool is very special. Sooty was discovered in Blackpool, so it’s his hometown. It is also a beautiful theatre and I dreamed of working there when I was a child.”
New series of Sooty disappeared from our TV boxes in 2004, but that all changed when Cadell visited the ITV Studios in 2011. “Sooty was always firmly entrenched in the public consciousness, so it made sense for me to contact ITV and see if they would like to take another look at the series.”
So what happened next? “We made a pilot and they commissioned a series instantly and it has been on every weekend since. The format hasn’t changed over the years, and that’s an important part of the bear’s ongoing appeal.”
The Sooty Show debuted on our television sets back in 1955 (BBC). Apart from it short break in the noughties; the puppet has been on our screens ever since. Hosting the show from 1955-1975 was Harry Corbett, Matthew Corbett from 1976-1998 and then Cadell brought the franchise in 1999.
How have they kept the brand alive? “I think Sooty has been popular because of his innocence and simplicity. People always love teddy bears and custard jokes. It’s that formula which is just as effective now as it was in 1948. Generations know and trust Sooty, so they introduce their children to it.”
The entertainer told another publication that he was on a mission to get Sooty back to the top. Has he achieved that? “I think Sooty is in a great place, but there is more to come.”
A film of Sooty was announced in 2014 and production began in 2016. Richard and Matthew Corbett are set to appear. “The movie is the next project and we received a positive response when we announced it. To generate such excitement about something that has never happened before says a lot about the appeal.”
Before the tour, Richard is at Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland between 18 November 2016 and 2 January 2017. “We are so excited, it’s Sooty’s Christmas Party and the gang will be up to all sorts of mischief. Their old friends Butch and Ramsbottom will be making an appearance at carol singers. Magic, music, mess with lots of audience participation. There will be something for fans old and new.”