2016 has arrived. We’re all a little older, a little grayer and perhaps even a little wiser. Naturally our work to recognize extraordinary people continues and we commence this years celebrations in England. So without further delay; izzy wizzy, let’s get busy.
We begin the season with an award to a man who has dedicated decades to educating and entertaining children across the United Kingdom. I am of course referring to the extraordinary Peter Corbett, who you may recall better as the highly entertaining Matthew Corbett.
Peter was born in Guiseley, West Riding of Yorkshire in the late 1960s. He had opted to go by the name of Matthew, as there was already another Peter Corbett registered in his drama school. For television purposes he has always remained as Matthew Corbett.
Peter was a regular performer in the Thames Television children’s show Rainbow, where he performed with Rod Burton and Jane Tucker as Rod, Matt, and Jane, later known as Rod, Jane and Freddy.
In 1976, Peter left Rainbow to take over The Sooty Show from his father, Harry Corbett. Peter semi-retired in 1998 and hand-picked Richard Cadell to replace him. Peter has made several guest appearances since that time and has helped write various episodes. The show is still going strong to this day.
The Atlantic Award Group was thrilled to be able to recognize such a significant UK icon such as Peter. He has truly impacted and enhanced the lives of many children across the UK and now even in his semi-retirement he is a role model to his children and grandchildren. Not to mention all of the parents out there that are introducing ‘classic’ sooty episodes to their children for the first time.
Project Director, Alex Maine, shared his thoughts on the award along with Peter’s initial reaction in an open letter.
“It was back in October 2015 when we contacted Peter to inform him that we had selected him to receive an Atlantic Award. At the time he was a little skeptical and feared that our earlier award to Noel Edmonds could be the indication of a comical award prank, referring to Noel’s “Gotcha’s” in the 90s.”
“After we’d convinced him that this wasn’t a practical joke and there was no water pistols involved, he very graciously and humbly accepted. I, like many people of my age grew up watching shows like Sooty and they played an integral part of the childhoods of millions. Yet again, the Atlantic Award Group has been able to recognize someone who has impacted so many.”
“On a professional note and a personal one, it brings me a great sense of joy to have made this presentation to Peter. I woke up to a note from him this morning saying he hadn’t worked with his ‘little friend’ in a long time. It was good to see them reunited.”
“I’ve exchanged many pleasantries with him over the past few months. It’s clear to me that he is exactly as you’d expect him to be. There is no ‘split tv persona’. He simply is what he appears to be. A caring, passionate and enthusiastic entertainer who doesn’t quite realize the sheer impact he has had on the lives of so many.”
In a statement to the Atlantic Award Group, Richard Cadell, the current owner and host of The Sooty Show, praised Peter for his contributions.
“I’m thrilled and delighted for Peter. He’s a brilliant writer, hysterical presenter and technically a masterful puppeteer.”
“Through fresh ideas and creativity, he kept The Sooty Show relevant and appealing for over 30 years. An impossible act to follow. It’s been an honour to learn from him. This award is so well deserved! Sooty, Sweep, and Soo and all the crew from The Sooty Show ask me to pass on their heartiest congratulations! Well done mate!”
Longtime co-star and voice of Soo, Brenda Longman reached out to the Atlantic Award late this evening with the following words of congratulations.
“Warmest Congratulations to Matthew Corbett for recognition long overdue of a man’s unique contribution to the world of children’s entertainment. His talent as an innovative and ever-relevant writer, comedian, puppeteer, musician and performer could not be equalled. His mind was a fount of madness and creativity that did the work of ten! – I was particularly grateful to him for his creation of the character “Mo from t’Market” , a great comedy creation who he loved and made joyous for me to perform.”
The Atlantic Award Group would like to thank Ben Corbett for his assistance in making this presentation possible. We’d also like to thank ITV and the production team of The Sooty Show for their contributions.
It’s only right that we end this announcement the way it should be ended… Bye-bye everybody, bye-bye.