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Friday 3rd July 2020

Sooty star Matthew Corbett 'almost died in coronavirus battle'

He spent 10 days in intensive care

Matthew Corbett has revealed he almost died of coronavirus and spent 10 days in intensive care.

He is best known for presenting the Sooty Show for over 20 years.

The legendary puppeteer – whose real name is Peter – said things got so bad it was "touch-and-go" as to whether he would survive.

Sooty, Sweep and Soo were staples of many childhoods (Credit: BBC)

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The 71-year-old has revealed he caught the deadly virus.

"I was in Warrington General Hospital for 10 nights and have been told since that it was touch-and-go as to whether I would survive."

He had to spend 10 nights in Warrington General Hospital recovering from COVID-19.

Touch and go

As a result, Matthew – who starred as the endlessly patient housemate of puppets Sooty, Sweep and Soo – is still so weak he and his wife are selling their beloved home in Lymm.

Speaking to Cheshire Live, he said: "I caught corona. I was in Warrington General Hospital for 10 nights and have been told since that it was touch-and-go as to whether I would survive.

“As a result of the coronavirus I then got pneumonia, which led to atrial fibrillation. It was much worse for my family than for me. They were terrified, they thought I wasn’t coming out of hospital."

Matthew's dad Harry Corbett created the show in 1955 (Credit: BBC)

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Wake-up call

He went on: "It’s been a wake-up call. Seven weeks later I still get so out of breath and am so weak, and I just cannot deal with this house.

Matthew Corbett was the long-suffering housemate of the naughty puppets (Credit: BBC)

"I can’t mow the lawn, it’s too big, and I can’t carry down the shopping.

"We’re moving to a retirement village in Horsham, in West Sussex, where everything is on the doorstep. It’s close to our children and to Gatwick, so we shall have the best of all worlds."

Peter took over the famous glove puppet bear in 1975 from his dad Harry Corbett, who originally created the characters in 1952.

Matthew spent two decades with the furry trio, before selling the rights in 1996 and eventually retiring in 1998.

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