Saturday, December 17, 2005
Harry Corbett and Sooty
"Sooty's genesis occurred in 1948 when, during a family holiday in Blackpool, a Yorkshire engineer and part-time magician named Harry Corbett chanced upon a glove puppet teddy bear in a novelty shop at the end of the seaside resort's famous north pier. "I'd always had a thing about teddy bears," noted Corbett, years later. "And this one had a cheeky face. It was almost as if it was saying, 'Don't leave me here.' " So Corbett parted with the princely sum of 7s 6d (38p.) and returned to the boarding house with his new partner-to-be housed within a brown paper bag. Corbett soon set about incorporating the puppet into his magic act with immediate success. It was in 1952 that the mismatched duo made their television debut on a BBC show called Talent Night, to instant success. The TV critic of the Sunday Express newspaper writing on 4th of May commented: 'Five minutes on the television screen last night established Harry Corbett's teddy bear as a rival to Muffin the Mule.' At that point, the bear was known simply as "teddy", and due to its decidedly sharp features, appeared to look more like a rat! Acting on advice to give the puppet a more distinctive look and its own name, the Corbett's carried out many experiments until they finally dubbed it's ears and nose with soot from the chimney. The result, and the character name which the look had suggested to them, ensured their place in televisual history."
Harry Corbett & Sooty - Texas Turkey Jig
Harry Corbett & Sooty - Chica Chica
These Rapid Share files are accessible as described in previous posts.