Iconic TV star Sooty ‘lights up’ Weston-super-Mare town centre

The stars of the UK’s longest running children’s programme were on hand on Thursday 29 November for the annual Weston-super-Mare Town Council Christmas lights switch on.

Hundreds of local people flocked to the town centre to see the stars of CITV’s The Sooty Show, Sooty and Richard Cadell, turn on the lights alongside Town Mayor Cllr David Hitchins – but not before the popular children’s star took the opportunity to cause a little mischief, squirting the Mayor in the face with his trusty water pistol!

Sooty_Weston

The evening’s festivities began with a civic procession from the Blakehay Theatre which included local dignitaries, members of the local community and representatives from the Mayor’s chosen charities and The Playhouse’s upcoming Sleeping Beauty pantomime.

Speaking to the large crowd, Sooty Show presenter Richard Cadell said what an honour it was to be turning on the lights in Weston-super-Mare, describing himself and Sooty as “local lads”. The CITV show is currently filmed from a studio based at popular South West destination Fun City Brean Leisure Park.

After the countdown ended and the lights were officially switched on to applause from the crowd, Sooty and Richard posed for photographs with fans young and old by the Weston Winter Wonderland’s skating rink in the Town Square, before local people were invited back to the Blakehay Theatre to take away the winter chill with mulled wine and mince pies.

Last night’s lights switch-on, which culminated in a free firework display at 8pm, officially marked the start of late night shopping in Weston-super-Mare each Thursday in the run up to Christmas, with the town’s Sovereign Shopping Centre offering free parking each Thursday from 3pm as an extra incentive for festive shoppers.

It followed a successful opening week for the ‘Love Weston Winter Wonderland’ extravaganza in the Town Square, organised by the Weston Business Improvement District (BID) team in conjunction with North Somerset Council. The Wonderland, which is open every day until 6 January 2013, features a host of seasonal attractions including an eco-friendly ice skating rink, a Christmas Carousel, and independent retailers selling festive treats including Bratwurst sausages and mulled wine.

For latest news and photographs from the Wonderland, visit www.westonwinterwonderland.com or like the Wonderland’s facebook page at www.facebook.com/westonwinterwonderland.

ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS

Image caption:

Richard Cadell, pictured here alongside Sooty, Sweep and Soo, has been confirmed for Weston-super-Mare’s Christmas lights switch on, taking place in the Town Square on Thursday 29 November.

About The Sooty Show:

The Sooty show is the longest running children’s programme in the UK. This year, it has been on our television screens for 60 years.  Harry Corbett originally bought Sooty for his son Matthew Corbett whilst on holiday in Blackpool in 1948. Sooty first appeared on our screens in 1952. Following Harry Corbett’s retirement in 1976, Sooty was operated by Corbett’s son Matthew, and enjoyed a new wave of popularity on stage and TV. Matthew Corbett retired in 1998, giving Sooty to then co-star Richard Cadell who presented the show through another five series. In June 2008, Richard Cadell bought the rights to Sooty.  For more information visit www.thesootyshow.com.

About Love Weston:

The Love Weston campaign is funded by the local business community in a designated area of the town center and sea front of Weston-super-Mare, as part of the Business Improvement District (BID), a scheme introduced by the UK government in 2004 to strengthen and regenerate town centres. The BID in Weston-super-Mare is managed by the Town Centre Partnership and runs from 2012 to 2017 and has the objective of enhancing and improving the trading environment in the town centre and sea front areas to attract more business and investment as a result of profile raising campaigns and other initiatives.

For more information about the event, please contact:

The Town Centre Management Team
01934 642404 / info@wsmtcp.co.uk

Seafront and Events Team
01934 888888 / events@n-somerset.gov.uk

For all media enquiries relating to the lights switch-on, including image requests, please contact:

Ben Veal at Plum Communications & PR
07549 607438 / ben@plum-communications.co.uk

For more information on Richard Cadell and The Sooty Show please contact:

Charlotte Prentice at KatiePhillips PR
020 3137 6499 /  charlotte@katiephillipspr.co.uk