Sooty was discovered in Blackpool on July 19th 1948. Harry Corbett was on holiday with his wife Marjorie and children, David and Matthew. While walking on the North Pier Harry spotted a teddy bear puppet in a gift shop. For the princely sum of 7s 6d Harry purchased the little bear ... and the lives of the Corbett family were about to change forever! Harry introduced his new partner into his amateur magic act; his name was simply "Teddy". The silent little bear assisted with the tricks -immortalizing the spell "Izzy Wizzy lets get busy"! In 1952 Harry and Teddy were spotted by a Television producer who invited them to appear on BBC North's 'Talent Night'. It was decided at the last minute to alter Teddy's appearance so he would stand out on Black and White TV. Harry's wife hastily sewed on a black mouth and nose. His ears were blackened with soot... and it was this moment he was renamed... Sooty. Sooty's popularity kept on growing, with millions of children watching The Sooty Show both on TV and in Theatres across the country. In 1976 Harry's son Matthew took over as Sooty's right hand man. Harry Corbett received an OBE in recognition of his work. Sooty responded by squirting Prince Phillip with his water pistol! Matthew Corbett decided to retire in 2000. The hunt was on to find a new Partner for Sooty. Matthew recalled that in 1985 a young magician had been a guest on the TV Show. His name was Richard Cadell. Richard had started his show business career at the age of eight, making television news as the youngest Punch and Judy man in Great Britain. By the age of fifteen he became the Magic Circle's Young Magician of the Year. He went on to become one of Britain's top illusionists. He also worked on radio and TV presenting. It was this combination of skills that gave him the perfect qualifications to take on Sooty and the gang. Matthew Corbett said Sooty "couldn't be in better hands".
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