Saturday, October 06, 2007

Bye bye everybody, bye bye

During my brief trip to London, I was saddened to learn that TV legend Sooty is up for sale. His value is believed to have been slashed since his rights were originally sold by Matthew Corbett for just £1.4m in 1996. No story better sums up the plight of innocent victims of the ongoing global credit crunch.

No-one born in the 1970s in the UK, can be anything but horrified that Sooty is being flogged to the highest bidder in such a nonchalant fashion. He wasn't as overtly naughty as my all-time favourite TV character (Zippy), but he might have been his slightly more sensible younger brother. They had the same complexion after all.

Without wishing to knock down Sooty in his hour of need, I must confess that deep down I was very much a 'Sweep man', and I fear that the grey squeaky dog is probably being tossed in as a makeweight in any forthcoming deal. He should have taken my advice and gone solo years ago, but now he finds himself, in the eyes of the evil capitalists at least, merely as Sooty's lackey.

I don't like to name drop, but I did once meet Sooty live on stage during his eponymous shows at the Mayfair Theatre. I suspect he wouldn't remember me (I've changed a lot since then), but he can rest assured that I genuinely haven't had a more pleasurable time at the theatre. The likes of Sir Ian McKellen may win more accolades, but when Sooty said "...Izzy Whizzy, Let's Get Bizzy...", you could have cut the atmosphere with a knife.

The mere sight of Sweep meanwhile gives me an acute sense of nostalgia, yet unfortunately one tinged with sadness given his terrifying plight in my young hands. As a toddler, I was entranced by his high pitched and unique form of communication, so much so that my parents cruelly tore out his sound piece, sick to death of being woken during the early hours by his dulcet tones. To this day I cannot look into his sad eyes without being reminded of the savage attack to which he was subjected.

Yet in truth, what chance do the likes of Sooty have in the modern world, competing as they are with the far more marketing savvy compatriots such as Barney or Bear in the Big Blue House? You just have to hope that he has been advised well, and can enjoy a well-earned retirement with long-time partner Soo (not that I could work out what he saw in her myself, the stuck up cow).

Here then is a tribute to Sooty and his pals. If you don't laugh out loud during Sweep's rendition of Nessun Dorma at the 4:25 mark, you truly had a misspent childhood.


At 11:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

cannot recall actually pulling out sweeps sound piece, although there were many times when we wished we had. It may have been easier to pull your sound piece as you made far more noise then he did

At 1:05 PM, Blogger charlton north-downs said...

NY Be prepared to re-anact your child hood again as I did when my two were about one and two. Going to work exhausted looking after the little devils who I'm sure would wake up at 4am deliberately, so they could watch Thomas the Tank and Care Bears morning after morning. My wife would do the very early shift when necessary.


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