One of TV’s most famous silent artistes is set to return home to star in Blackpool’s annual festival of magic.
It is very much a case of ‘Izzy, Wizzy, Let’s Get Busy’ as children’s favourite Sooty is to be the star of Showzam 2014.
The yellow bear – whose origins can be traced back 65 years ago to a stall on North Pier – will return to the resort for the annual 10-day Showzam spectacular in two shows at the Opera House on February 17 and 18.
The Sooty Show is one of the new features of Showzam – Blackpool’s annual festival celebrating Circus, Magic and New Variety – which runs from Friday 14 to Sunday February 23.
Joining the nation’s favourite mischievous, but less than talkative, bear on stage will be his friends Sweep, Soo and Sooty’s TV partner Richard Cadell.
Richard said: “It’s great to be bringing Sooty home to Blackpool. He’s already in this year’s Illuminations display so I can’t wait to bring The Sooty Show to the Opera House during Showzam!
“Showzam is the perfect festival for us to take part in so we plan on making this a really special show.”
Sooty began his TV career in the 1950s in the skilled hands of Harry Corbett.
He found the yellow glove animal in a novelty shop on North Pier in 1948 for 7s 6d (37.5p), while on holiday in Blackpool with his wife and children.
What is thought to be the original Sooty was bought by Richard at auction and was then presented to Blackpool. In 2009 he was displayed on North Pier.
And, from this year, he features as part of the Bispham tableaux in the Illuminations.
Showzam organisers Marketing Blackpool have promised more child-orientated shows this year with a real emphasis on encouraging families to take part.
Event Organiser Chris Pope said: “Everyone is familiar with Sooty so we expect this to be a really popular show.
“Of course, the show is aimed at youngsters but we hope to see a lot of parents and grandparents in the audience too as we have all grown up with this mischievous little puppet.”
The Sooty Show will also feature stars from the Moscow State Circus.
n Tickets go on sale at 10am tomorrow at www.showzam.co.uk, www.visitblackpool.com, VisitBlackpool Tourist Information Centre at Festival House, Blackpool Winter Gardens Box Office, TicketMaster 0844 856 1111 or by calling (01253) 478222.
Tickets are priced £6.99 for children (U14), £9.99 for adults and £27.99 for a family ticket for four people (two adults & two children or one adult & three children). Under 2’s free (sitting on an adult’s knee).