Following a very exciting 2018 in which Sooty celebrated his 70th birthday, he’ll be launching into 2019 with a new theatre tour of Sooty’s Magic Show.

The nation’s favourite yellow bear will be coming to Wyllyotts Theatre in Potters Bar on Sunday, May 19, together with Sweep, Soo and his TV pal Richard Cadell.

Here we chat with Sooty’s TV presenter of 20 years Richard Cadell, to see why Sooty’s Magic Show is set to be an unmissable treat for the whole family…

What kind of mischief can audiences expect in Sooty’s Magic Show?

This is Sooty doing what he does best – magic. So the audience can expect to be saying “izzy whizzy let’s get busy” a great deal! Sooty will be performing some amazing tricks including sawing a lady in half, floating a child from the audience and making it snow! Sweep will be getting in the way with his own disastrous magic tricks most of which revolve around sausages.

You’ll be joined on the tour by special guests, circus stars Michael Jordan and Fantasie De La Nuit. What is their role in the show?

Michael Jordan is an amazing circus artist and a fabulous magician. So with Sooty’s help he will be performing some large-scale Las Vegas style illusions along with some incredible juggling and circus tricks. Fantasie De La Nuit will allow Sooty and Sweep to perform some incredible tricks using the magic of ultraviolet light. It has to be seen to be believed.

Are live theatre performances what you and Sooty enjoy doing the most?

Of course, making the television show is a lot of fun but Sooty has always been at his best in front of a live audience where he can make not only the children laugh, but all the adults too. Plus after each performance there is a chance for everybody to meet Sooty and it’s always such a pleasure to meet fans!

2018 saw Sooty celebrate his 70th birthday. This included a huge birthday celebration on Blackpool Pier. What was it like having Sooty’s biggest fans all in one place?

It was absolutely amazing and overwhelming, actually. There is so much love for this little bear. He has been at the heart of so many people’s childhoods over the last 70 years. Over 1500 people turned up to celebrate – every age and generation. It just felt like one huge family.

You’ve now been Sooty’s TV presenter for 20 years – how has the journey been for you?

The last 20 years have flown by - I’ve just had a ball. It really was a life-changer for me and I have loved every second of it. I feel honoured and privileged to be trusted with such an iconic and well-loved character. There have been so many highlights, but I think the most humbling thing is to see the power that Sooty has to bring hope and happiness to those less privileged than ourselves. We have raised significant funds for charities and we have made a real difference to certain people’s lives. That is one element that I never expected, and it has been wonderful to see Sooty make a difference.

What do you think the secret to Sooty’s longevity is?

Simplicity. After all he is a teddy bear and most children receive a teddy bear as their first ever toy so it’s very easy to see why children fall in love with Sooty very quickly. And now of course it’s the grandparents that are introducing their grandchildren to the same little teddy bear that made them laugh also. And it hasn’t changed. I’m still performing the same routines that Harry Corbett performed 70 years ago, and they still make children scream with laughter. In this ever-changing world I think people find it very reassuring that some things remain the same.

After the tour, what does the rest of 2019 and the future hold for The Sooty Show?

We have lots planned. We have for several years been working on a full feature length movie which we will continue to progress this year. It’s a tough business but all the elements are there, and the plan is to get the cameras rolling this year. It’s out of my hands personally but a lot of eminent people are working to make it a reality. So we have had to keep the diary clear just in case! We have just completed a spectacular pantomime and we will definitely be performing live again next Christmas, so we are looking forward to that immensely.

Wyllyotts Theatre, Wyllyotts Place, Potters Bar, EN6 2HN, Sunday, May 19. Details: 01707 645005