1. Sooty was discovered on July 19, 1948 when Harry Corbett bought the famous puppet for 7s6d as a present for his son Matthew while on holiday in Blackpool. Known originally as 'Teddy', Harry quickly incorporated the new arrival into his magic show.
2. The bear was first seen on our screens in 1952 with an appearance on the BBC's Talent Night, filmed at Belle Vue, Manchester. To make him stand out on black & white telly, Harry's missus Marjorie sewed on a black nose and mouth and dusted his ears up with soot... renaming him Sooty! The team of Harry and Sooty won their heat and then the grand final, catapulting the pair to stardom.
3. After Harry retired in 1976, his son Matthew formed a new partnership with the little bear, until Matthew also hung up his wand in 1998. Sooty was then bequeathed to Richard Cadell, who ten years later went on to buy the rights to Sooty for a "significant sum", reported to be almost a million quid!
4. Sooty has been joined by many friends over the years. There was a dog and one-time DS Icon named Sweep... a panda lady named Soo - and the lesser-known Cousin Scampi, cats named Kipper and Miki, Ramsbottom the snake, 'Enry the Robot and Maggie Mouse.
5. On Sooty's 60th birthday, he and Sweep sent a special celebratory greeting to former president of South Africa Nelson Mandela, who was that year celebrating his 90th.
Watch Sooty and Sweep use their magic to wish Nelson Mandela a happy birthday below:
6. Some say the first Sooty was bought by a woman called Charlotte Lonsdale and now lives with her in Brancepeth near Durham, but others claim that we can never know what happened to the original bear. Richard Cadell bought "the oldest surviving Sooty" for £3,100 in 2008, bringing along one of the newer generations to help at the auction. 'He may not be the absolute original, but we're pretty sure he's the oldest surviving Sooty in the world and the first to appear on TV," Cadell said at the time.
7. Iron Maiden drummer Nicko McBrain is a famous Sooty fan and features the little fella on his drumkit at his live shows. He has apparently even worn a full-size Sooty outfit at some gigs.
Watch Iron Maiden's Nicko McBrain on The Sooty Show below:
8. Matthew Kelly, Jack Dee, William Roache, Shane Ritchie, Jim Bowen, Frank Bruno, Harry Hill, Brian Blessed and Paul Merton are among the other stars who have appeared on Sooty's shows. The bear has also popped up on They Think It's All Over, Telly Addicts, and made a one-off special appearance on Rainbow. Sooty was more recently seen in an episode of Goodness Gracious Me and Peter Kay's 'Is This The Way To Amarillo' video in 2005.
9. Sooty has had a number of his own shows on British telly over there years. There's been The Sooty Show (1952-1992), Learn With Sooty (1989-1991), Sooty &Co. (1993-1998), Sooty Heights (1999-2000), Sooty (2001-2004) and Sooty & Sweep (2011-). He's also made countless stage appearances, many around Christmas.
10. Australian musical comedy troupe Doug Anthony All Stars recorded a song which claimed that Sooty had "grown up" and become a skinhead! "It's Skinhead Sooty with a killer xylophone/ Blood soaked bovver boots, a racist attitude," they sung. Blimey! Listen to the track below, but watch out for some very naughty language.