Original Sooty TV puppet sells for £3,000 at auction

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

An original Sooty puppet has sold at auction for £3,100 and could be shipped to the US.

The vintage puppet, which was used 50 years ago by TV programme creator Harry Corbett, was bought by Michael Flacks as a birthday present for his "lifelong fan" wife, Debbie.

The couple have a home in Miami and the puppet is expected to be sent overseas.

The bear was auctioned for three times its original estimate at Etwall in Derbyshire.

Image copyright Hansons Auctioneers
Image caption Former owner Tina Stewart's son with the show's current presenter Richard Cadell

"Michael called me up and said he wanted to buy the puppet for his wife Debbie's birthday," said Mr Flacks' personal assistant Laura Higgins.

"She's a lifelong Sooty fan and Michael asked me to do whatever it takes to buy Sooty."

She joked the puppet would soon be "enjoying a glamorous jet-set lifestyle".

Sooty's previous owner, Tina Stewart, from Dunblane near Stirling, said the puppet had been gifted to her father by Harry Corbett in the late 1970s, when they lived in the same Dorset village.

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