Sooty glove puppet sold at auction for more than £1,000

Sooty glove puppet sold at auction for more than £1,000
Sooty went under the hammer at Hansons Auctioneers (Mark Laban/Hansons Auctioneers)

A Sooty glove puppet, brought home by a stagehand on the top children’s TV show as a gift for his son, has been sold at auction for more than £1,000.

Brian Kent, who built sets for The Sooty Show in the 1970s, begged officials to allow him to take the glove puppet home for his son Lee Kent who was a fan of the show.

Lee, now 46, decided to sell the puppet following the death of his brother and parents so that it could be given a home where it would be “cherished and loved”.

Sooty the puppetThe Sooty glove puppet sold for more than £1,000 (Mark Laban/Hansons Auctioneers)

Sooty went under the hammer at Hansons Auctioneers for a guide price of £400 to £600, but this rose to £1,050 and Sooty was sold for a total of £1,377, including buyer’s premium.

Mr Kent, from Surbiton, south-west London, said: “My dad, Brian, used to build sets on The Sooty Show and, as a kid, I was a massive Sooty fan. Knowing this, dad asked if he could have a Sooty puppet for me.

“I’m not sure who he spoke to but he worked on the show when it was presented by Sooty’s inventor Harry Corbett and later by his son Matthew Corbett. He met them both as well as lots of other stars.

“I was only about three when dad brought Sooty home in 1979 or 1980. At the time my family lived in Carshalton, south London, near the Thames studios. Dad told me Sooty was old and had been used in the TV show. I am not sure whether our Sooty was used by Harry or Matthew Corbett but Matthew would have been presenting the show at the time.”

Talking about his memories with the puppet, he added: “It still brings a smile to my face when I think of my father acting silly with Sooty.

“I’ve always treasured Sooty and kept him in a safe place.

“He’s been a talking point for many years but now I have no family left.

“My parents have passed away and sadly I recently lost my brother.

“I have no children and have had health issues myself so feel it’s time Sooty found a home where he can be cherished and loved by someone who will appreciate him and his connection to one of the most famous children’s shows in TV history.”

Original Sooty puppet for auctionIn 2018 an original Sooty TV puppet, which had been ‘sitting in a box for 40 years’, went to auction (Jacob King/PA)PA Archive/PA Images - Jacob King

The buyer of the puppet, who is based in London, said Sooty would stand proudly in his collection, explaining that he bought it to “own a piece of classic children’s TV history”.

The Sooty Show was created by actor and comedian Harry Corbett and was produced for the BBC from 1955 to 1967, moving to ITV from 1968 to 1992.

The children’s show follows Sooty the bear and his friends Sweep the dog and Soo the panda.

Production was handled by Thames Television from 1968 with Mr Corbett presenting the programme until he retired in 1975.

In 2018, a 1950s original Harry Corbett Sooty puppet sold for £14,500 at Hansons Auctioneers, they said.

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