Interview with Sooty
SOOTY holds the Guinness World Record for the longest-running continuing children's programme in the UK. The yellow teddy bear is starring in Wolverhampton Grand Theatre's pantomime SLEEPING BEAUTY. Sooty whispered his answers to his best friend Richard Cadell, who appears alongside Sooty in the pantomime as Muggles.
Is Sooty looking forward to appearing in Sleeping Beauty?
Sooty is beside himself at the prospect of starring in Sleeping Beauty, it's a role he's always wanted to play and gives him plenty of opportunity to entertain all the boys and girls and their parents too.
Will Sooty's friend Sweep be making an appearance?
Where Sooty goes, Sweep usually goes too, so maybe. It's panto so anything could happen!
What is Sooty's role in the pantomime?
Sooty is playing himself - a magic teddy bear. He is going to be the magical assistant to the Good Fairy played by Debbie McGee, battling the evil Carabosse. So there will be twice the magic on stage!
What sort of tricks will Sooty and Debbie be doing?
There's some amazing magical illusions on huge sets that have been built in Las Vegas. There's an escape from six roaring chainsaws and another where a lady and gent are picked from the audience while Debbie and Sooty attempt to teach us how to saw a body in half!
Sooty is famous for waving his magic wand to the words "Izzy wizzy, let's get busy!" Can you tell us what it means?
No-one has asked that before! It means Fingers crossed - this might work!
How old is Sooty?
Sooty celebrated his 70th this year. But he's like Peter Pan, he's forever five years old.
How did Sooty celebrate?
Sooty was found by Harry Corbett on the North Pier at Blackpool - he bought him from a joke shop to entertain his son Matthew, who was just a baby in a pram at the time. So we went back to the North Pier and held a massive party for 1,000 people. Sooty had a huge birthday cake, unveiled a plaque and put on a show that raised thousands of pounds for children's charities.
What's Sooty's secret to staying so young looking?
Very good fabric conditioner! Over the years Sooty's had 4,000 stunt doubles who step-in when he gets involved in slapstick, which is what keeps him immaculate! But there's only one real Sooty.
Sooty's well-known for his practical jokes. What's the best prank he's ever pulled?
When he went with Harry Corbett to get his OBE he famously squirted water at HRH Prince Phillip, who got soaked. The Queen thought it was hilarious!
Where can we watch Sooty?
Come and see him in panto at Wolverhampton - a boy and girl will get to come on stage and meet him in person at every performance. He has his own YouTube Channel The Sooty Show, we've a new series on ITVBe which is on every day at 9.15, there's a DVD out at Christmas and he's also making a movie!
Sleeping Beauty runs from Saturday 8 December 2018 - Sunday 13 January 2019 at Wolverhampton Grand Theatre.
Would you like to win four tickets to see Sooty in Sleeping Beauty? Enter our competition here.
Jo Messinger is Editor of the Wolverhampton & South Staffordshire Edition of Raring2go! A wife and mum to two lively boys who love living life to the full - just how it should be!
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