16 June 2016

The '80s Sooty Show - Soo, A Personal Stereo, And Auntie Brenda...

The Sooty Show entered a new era in the 1980s, with a change of format. Matthew Corbett introduced a new setting - a lovely house called "The Sooteries" on the Christmas 1980 show, and this became the permanent home of the show from 1981 onwards. 1981 was also the year Soo the panda gained a new voice - that of the very talented Brenda Longman.

My own Sooty era was over long before the 1980s began, I'd been a kiddywink viewer in the days when Harry Corbett, Matthew's father, was in charge, but I glimpsed the show at times as a young adult in the 1980s, and had to smile.

Sooty and his friends had been wowing the kids for several decades by that time, and were continuing to do so - and indeed still do. They're still going strong under the watchful eye of Richard Cadell.

My favourite characters were Soo and Sweep, with Sweep slightly in front. Was there ever a more appealing puppet? The emotions contained in his squeaks - from sorrow to frustration to sympathy - and his gorgeous way of getting things wrong... Sweep rules, OK?

Soo gained some street cred with me as an adult when she was seen with a personal stereo in 1985. It was more the size of a ghetto blaster to her, but I was heartened that my chldhood heroine was keeping up with the trends of the 1980s.

Soo gained even more street cred when an out-take from the show was included in the wonderful It'll Be Alright On The Night series.

Sooty, Sweep and Soo had been sent a flower press by their Auntie Brenda, but it was not easy to use with paws, and when a piece of it fell off the surface our pals were using, Sooty scuttled the rest of it, and the usually prim and proper Soo uttered the immortal words: "Bloody Auntie Brenda - she always was trouble!"

Of course, this was cut from the show, but the out-take survived for Denis Norden to delight us with. 

I laughed so much, it hurt.

Sooty, Sweep and Soo, we love you...

And Auntie Brenda, of course.