Sooty will celebrate 75 years in the entertainment industry in 2023 with the current guardian of the particular yellow bear saying simplicity is the key to his enduring popularity.
ooty will be joining his companions Sweep, Soo and Richard Cadell on a theater tour and new TV series next year, but before that, get a period of pantomime and continued promotions for a Christmas single to raise money for the Childline charity.
The hilarious comedy that still delights audiences of all ages has changed little since Sooty first rose to fame by whispering in creator Harry Corbett’s ear.
Cadell says keeping the traditional format is key to Sooty’s success: “I think it’s just simplicity.”
He told the PA news agency: “Nobody is stupid. I think we can all have an idea of how Sooty works but that doesn’t matter.
“And I think the fact that we’re all in on the joke means it can go on. There is nothing complicated about it and that is the key to its success.”
Sooty began life as a simple yellow bear that magician and puppeteer Harry Corbett found in a shop in Blackpool, Lancashire, in 1948, named Teddy and used to entertain his children.
The black ears, said to have been created from coal dust, have given Sooty a new name and a distinctive look, and the duo won the BBC TV show Talent Night.
This was followed by a regular slot on the children’s show Saturday Special and then the premiere of The Sooty Show in 1955, which Corbett’s son Matthew took over in 1976.
Since Matthew’s retirement in 1998, Cadell has been the one to utter the show’s classic catchphrase “Izzy whizzy let’s get busy”.
The love people have for Sooty comes as no surprise to Cadell, who has said he “loves it”, adding: “I would say, however, that you can’t rest on your laurels. me. You know, you can’t just trade the former glory.”
He said being Sooty’s guardian means a lot of hard work but a lot of fun.
“I really feel that it’s important to keep him relevant to today’s generation to ensure that the affection persists when they become parents and they want to go to the theater with their kids.
“So I feel a duty of care. You know, the little bear had been alive for 50 years before I was on the scene. And I want to make sure that he’ll survive 50 years since I wasn’t on the scene, you know,
“I have to take care of him, that is my role. It’s more than a job. It makes sure that this little guy is here for everyone to enjoy for as long as possible.
Cadell said Sooty and Sweep are a “classic double act” and the entertainment comes from placing them in situations familiar to the audience.
“So you have Sooty who is smart but naughty and Sweep who is a bit goofy, we love him so much. So the programs actually write themselves.
The scenario for the 2023 tour is Sooty’s 75th birthday party and the dates for the fall have been announced with more shows to be announced for the spring.
“What will Sooty do? He invites all his friends, he invites some star guests, and then things go awry,” Cadell told PA.
“Because it is a tried and tested format, it is very simple.”
Sooty, Sweep, Soo and Cadell will also appear alongside Jason Donovan and Faye Brookes in Goldilocks And The Three Bears at the Mayflower Theater in Southampton, Hampshire, from December 10.
Cadell, 54, who has appeared in pantomimes since the age of 15, said it was “probably the most spectacular pantomime I’ve ever been in”.
“I like to take Sooty and Sweep and show them to audiences who don’t necessarily go to Sooty’s concerts,” he said.
“They all like Sooty but they either forget it or they remember it from childhood. And as soon as they see him and they realize how funny he is and how funny Sweep is, suddenly they become fans again.
“And I love putting Sooty and Sweep in front of mature audiences who remember him and reawaken their childhood.
“It’s a privilege to do that.”
He says adults don’t need to “grind their teeth” as they might expect at other children’s performances.
“With Sooty it is quite the opposite, you will see adults coming without children.
“You know, we have loads of little kids who are obsessed with it and memorize it word for word, and then we’ll have people who grow old with the Sootys they’ve had for 50 years who just love liked it and remembered it and wanted to come see it.
“So I think that’s why it’s successful and that’s why it’s still selling so well in theaters because it appeals to different ages for different reasons.”
Cadell said it was perfect for Sooty to support Childline with his Christmas single, The Most Magical Time Of The Year.
“Childline is a very special charity that has helped so many boys and girls. And Sooty, of course, has helped many children over the years. I mean, he’s been very popular with kids for the past 75 years.”
– Download Sooty’s Christmas single The Most Magical Time of the Year at Magictime.co.uk. All proceeds go to Childline.
https://www.independent.ie/world-news/and-finally/simplicity-the-key-to-sootys-75-year-success-says-shows-host-42194188.html ‘Simple’ is the key to Sooty’s 75 years of success, said the host