This film is part of Free

Harry Corbett and Sooty

Let’s not get busy as Harry Corbett and Sooty are flooded out of venue in Plymouth.

News 1966 2 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for South West Film and Television Archive


The yellow furry bear is as silent as ever on the flooding of the performance venue at the Athenaeum Theatre. Sooty has been ousted from the theatre due to a burst pipe but the show must go on. Harry Corbett created the yellow furry puppet originally called Teddy in 1948 after buying the glove puppet in Blackpool. The puppet became Sooty after he blackened his ears with soot. Corbett went on to perform on BBC’s Talent Night in 1952 and was given his own show The Sooty Show.

In 1957 Sooty was partnered with a squeaky dog with a love of sausages, Sweep and later, a shy panda named Soo. Harry Corbett received an OBE in 1976, although a joke at the time was that the then Prime Minister Harold Wilson omitted the H meaning to recommend the star of Steptoe and Son Harry H Corbett. His antics of magic tricks announced by “Izzy wizzy, let’s get busy” often throwing eggs and flour over himself got him into trouble with the wardrobe department but his slapstick comedy entertained for over 60 years. He died peacefully in 1989 after playing the Weymouth Pavilion to a capacity crowd. Bye bye everybody! Bye bye!