Sooty is 70.
My first-ever glove puppet was one of Sooty. One of the rare pictures of me ever taken was as a four-year-old in 1961 in my parents’ Balham flat with me holding Sooty in the style of the Boston Strangler.
What a lot of people didn’t know was that Sooty suffered from hydrophobia and his constant squirting wasn’t him being naughty, but simply trying to allay his deepest, water-borne fears.
Sooty was also an accomplished magician and dated Debbie McGee before dumping her for Soo.
Whilst working for the BBC the producers there were told that Sooty and new girlfriend Soo could never touch on screen; Sooty is reputed to have been the founder of tantric sex.
Sooty’s owner was also very accomplished; as well as (literally) having a hand in Sooty’s success, he was very good portraying Harold Steptoe.
Sooty’s inability to speak loudly was due mainly to vocal-chord damage attributed to his constant haranguing in 1948 across to the steps of 11 Downing Street of Sir Stafford Cripps about his austerity plans.
During the show, Sooty’s owner, star of Carry on Screaming, invariably had his suit ruined; the show was sponsored by Burtons and the suits actually free.
It was above a Burton’s where Sooty initially met Sweep, who, in 1948, was running an illicit snooker hall. Sweep spoke as he did as he’d previously had an unspeakable accident with a couple of billiard balls, a spider rest and several pieces of chalk.
Bye bye, everybody, bye bye