WATER Pistols will be at the ready to keep the audience in line, when Sooty and his pals come to the Roses Theatre in Tewkesbury.

But with a show "packed full of mischief and mayhem", what does the show's creator, Richard Cadell, have to say for himself?

Richard said: There is magic, music, madness - and mayhem. There's also buckets of audience participation and a chance for some of the children to come on stage meet Sooty and be in the show."

So what are Sooty, Sweep and Soo up to in this new show?

Richard said: "Quite simply they have been tasked with putting on a spectacular variety show for the audience. Of course nothing goes to plan. Sweep gets stuck in his escapology act. Soo can't find her tap shoes and Sooty's magic wand get everyone in a mess."

Do adults enjoy The Sooty Show as much as the children?

"Of course!" says Richard.

He adds: "In fact, the adults normally outnumber the children! It would be true to say that when we write the show we remember who pays for the tickets – so we make sure the adults get their share of laughs."

But what makes the Sooty live show different to the TV show?

Richard says: "The audience involvement. Don't forget Sooty was performing live years before he made it on television and that really is what he is best at. You can't beat the sound of children's laughter when they see Sooty being naughty for real – it's magical. Everybody loves Sooty. Even after all these years I still have to pinch myself to think I present this iconic show.

"I became Sooty's new presenter in 1998 when Matthew Corbett announced his retirement."

Richard added: "Matthew has become a great friend and certainly continues to inspire me. However, I wasn't a children's entertainer before I started the Sooty Show. I was an illusionist with a big act with lots of assistants. I used to escape from tanks of water and vanish a motorcycle in mid air! So it was a complete change for me."

Richard realises he is now "the guardian of a wonderful British institution".

He said: "I feel it is my responsibility to ensure Sooty, Sweep and Soo live on for generations. The only way to do this is to love them and treat them as my children, and that is what I do. As for why it works, it's simple. Sooty and Sweep are the classic slapstick double act. The humour is timeless and has a universal appeal."

Sooty comes to The Roses on Saturday, March 11, at 11am and 2.30pm.

Tickets on, 01684 295074.