Derby

Family's vintage Sooty puppet confirmed as 1970s TV original

Sooty with gavel Image copyright Hansons Auctioneers
Image caption The puppet was confirmed as an original, used by programme creator Harry Corbett about 50 years ago

An original Sooty puppet is being sold after it was shown to the show's current presenter in Scotland.

Tina Stewart and her six-year-old son took the toy to The Sooty Show in Stirling and met host Richard Cadell afterwards.

He immediately identified it as an original used by programme creator Harry Corbett about 50 years ago.

The vintage puppet is due to be auctioned in Etwall, Derbyshire, on Thursday.

'Distinctive features'

Mrs Stewart, from Dunblane, said she and her son Kyle introduced their Sooty to Richard Cadell after a stage performance in April.

"He pointed out his distinctive features - a longer body, leather pads and sawdust in his head," she said.

"He mentioned that he might be worth a lot of money and told us to look after him."

Image copyright Hansons Auctioneers
Image caption Tina Stewart's son presented the vintage toy to the show's current presenter Richard Cadell

The revelation was not a complete surprise. The puppet had been gifted to Mrs Stewart's father by Harry Corbett in the late 1970s when they lived in the same Dorset village.

She said: "We always knew our Sooty puppet was extra special. My parents said I had to be extra careful if I played with him.

"It was after I'd spoken to Richard Cadell I decided I should part with him. It's time for someone else to enjoy him. Perhaps he should be in a toy museum."

Mr Cadell said: "I couldn't believe it when Kyle brought this along to my show.

"This is without question an original television Sooty that would have been used some point on television in the mid-1970s by Harry Corbett. I would estimate he is around 45 to 50 years old."

The puppet is due to go under the hammer on Thursday with an estimate of £800 to £1,200.

Last year, an original Sooty puppet from the 1950s was sold by Hansons for £14,500.

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