My brilliant memory of all events occurring prior to my discovery of the world of alcohol aged 15 is doubted by some and mocked by others. One such memory was of watching an episode of Sooty & Co after school, a programme clearly aimed at a slightly younger demographic but entertaining none the less. My affection for Sooty stretches way back to my first ever theatre expedition, to see ‘Sooty On Holiday’ at the Beck Theatre in Hayes. The Beck has sadly now been bought up by Live Nation, making life difficult for local community groups wanting to hire it out for their barbershop concerts (hi mum). Corporate touring shows such as ‘Sooty On Holiday’ have priority, it seems.

The episode of Sooty in question proceeded thusly: following a visit from a human lady who had just given birth, Sooty’s panda chum Soo pretended to be pregnant to play a trick on Matthew. She faked unusual food cravings, morning sickness and shoved a pillow up her dress. Matthew clearly hadn’t been paying attention in sex education class because he totally fell for it. The mix-up was resolved at the end of the episode and everyone laughed heartily, however this happy conclusion has been twisted by the urban rumour mill that Soo actually *was* pregnant, a scurrilous accusation not helped by Russell Brand’s extended fictional monologues on the subject during the recent series of Big Brother’s Big Mouth.

Said rumours have clearly corrupted the faculties of everyone I have tried to talk to about this matter. Receiving only scorn and disbelief from all sides I therefore decided to emblazon the history books with the truth once and for all, and update the wikipedia entry for Sooty. I wasn’t surprised that Soo’s mythical pregnancy was not the first controversy Sooty had encountered (he has made a living out of being a naughty bear, after all), but I was surprised that there was no mention of it at all on the original page. I did however find a source backing up my statement, so hopefully everyone will believe me now. In your face, everyone.

A worrying aspect of Sooty-lore is the following paragraph from the page: “There used to be an extremely popular ‘World of Sooty’ museum in Shipley, West Yorkshire open in the early 1990s, but this was later replaced by an animatronic cat exhibition, which was in turn replaced by a marketing agency.

Animatronic cat exhibition? Apparently it is true. ‘Furever Feline’ featured a diorama of robot cats talking in a Yorkshire accent. Truly that is the stuff of nightmares, thankfully now replaced by a ‘Millennium something’. For your regular slice of animatronic cat action you must now visit the Cats Of The Round Table at Camelot. Which is of course where Sooty once visited and subsequently got into trouble for product placement! A coincidence? Perhaps…