A MAGICAL little bear who has been on our screens and on stage for seven decades is coming to Swindon.

Richard Cadell is bringing The Sooty Show to the tow for the whole family to enjoy in April.

The gang promise to make audiences laugh along with funny jokes or amaze with their magic tricks.

Sooty made his first appearance over 70 years ago.

Richard took over as the puppeteer from Matthew Corbett 22 years ago and has done it for so long for one simple reason.

He said: “The reason I love it is because of the sound of children’s laughter.

“You don’t get to experience that on TV, on the stage you can hear the audience respond and children laughing, that’s why I do it.

"It’s not easy, it’s a long tour and very hard but it's all worth while.”

Despite the fact a lot has changed over the years, with technology advancing, Sooty has lasted the pace.

Richard said: “Its about laughing and having fun that’s what the show is all about.

“From what I used to watch of Sooty and the show, I don’t think the show has changed. It’s standing up against world-class CGI and films.

“I think that’s what parents love about the show is that it hasn’t changed, it’s the secret to the success.”

Performing has always been something Richard wanted to do and it happens to run in the family.

His sister Helen Pearson is known for playing the role of Frankie Osbourne in Hollyoaks. She also appeared in The Bill, Eastenders and A Touch of Frost.

Richard’s mum Judith Pearson was an actress in soap operas. She also danced and was a singer.

“I have always been involved in performing since I was a child," he said. "My mum and sister were actresses on TV and so performing and has always been present in my family."

Most will remember Sooty for his inaudible squeaks. He whispers what he wants to say to the puppeteer because he is the only one who understands him.

Harry Corbett created and brought the bear to life in 1948 and his son Matthew took over in 1976.

He then chose Richard to take over as Sooty’s right-hand man in 1998.

Over the years the pair have had the chance to perform in front of royalty, political heavyweights and celebrities.

Richard said: “I couldn’t believe it, it’s such a privilege.

"I’ve performed in front of Prince Charles and all these things I get to do it has just been amazing, it’s been a life-changing experience.

"I went to 10 Downing Street, I was in Tony Blair’s office and it’s all because of Sooty.”

The Sooty Show landed itself a place in the Guinness Book of Records as longest-running children’s TV programme in the world.

And Sooty bagged a spot in The Magic Circle three years ago.

Richard worked hard and taught himself magic tricks as he grew up.

Now he will be working alongside the circus star Michael Jordan, who performs magic and illusions.

And they’re looking forward to visiting the Wyvern Theatre int he spring.

He said: “On our last tour our show went to Swindon, so it will be really nice to come back.

“Everyone loves Sooty, it’s an incredible thing, it’s not just children who love him, adults do too.”

The tour will be in Swindon on April 9, starting at 11am. There is a second show at 2.30pm.

For tickets and more information visit swindontheatres.co.uk