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Peter Graham Corbett
28 March 1948
Peter Graham Corbett (born 28 March 1948), professionally known as Matthew Corbett, is an English television personality, writer and puppeteer, best known for presenting The Sooty Show and later Sooty and Co. He is the son of Sooty's creator, Harry Corbett. He took over Sooty from his father in 1976, and retired in 1998.
Matthew was born in Guiseley, West Riding of Yorkshire, on 28 March 1948. In the late 1960s, he had to choose another stage name, as there was already another Peter Corbett registered at drama school. He kept his surname, and chose the name of Matthew; for television purposes he has remained as Matthew Corbett.
He appeared in the 1971 Doctor Who serial The Dæmons as a character called Jones and was a regular performer in the Thames Television children's show Rainbow, where he sang and performed and wrote with Rod Burton and Jane Tucker as Rod, Matt and Jane, later on known as Rod, Jane and Roger and finally being better known as Rod, Jane and Freddy.
In 1976 Matthew left Rainbow to take over The Sooty Show from his father, Harry Corbett, on his retirement (he made a special guest appearance on Rainbow with Sooty in the episode "The VIP"). Matthew Corbett retired in 1998 after 22 years, and chose Richard Cadell to replace him. Corbett appears in This Is Your Life, Telly Addicts and Light Lunch,
Life after Sooty
Since retiring in 1998, Corbett is known to rarely make public appearances. However, in January 2008, he reappeared on television, presenting Locks and Quays, a regional interest programme shown in the ITV Granada area (North West England), featuring a journey from the east to the west coast of England, along waterways such as the River Humber, the Aire and Calder Navigation and the Leeds and Liverpool Canal.
On Sooty's 60th birthday in 2008, he said that the bear was "in, or should I say on, the right hands".
Matthew received an Atlantic Award in 2016 for his extensive contributions in children's education and entertainment.
- Tims, Interviews by Anna (6 August 2012). "How we made: Brenda Longman and Matthew Corbett on The Sooty Show". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 9 August 2016.
- "From sooty to the canals - life with Matthew Corbett". Warrington Guardian. Retrieved 9 August 2016.
- "Canal & River Trust". Waterscape.com. Retrieved 17 February 2013.
- "The Times & The Sunday Times". entertainment.timesonline.co.uk.
- Tibballs, Geoff (1990). The Secret Life of Sooty. Letchworth, UK: Ringpress Books. ISBN 0-948955-56-2.