Sooty star Matthew Corbett ‘nearly died from coronavirus’ after 10 days in intensive care

6 July 2020, 09:02

Sooty star Matthew Corbett ‘nearly died from coronavirus’ after 10 days in intensive care
Sooty star Matthew Corbett ‘nearly died from coronavirus’ after 10 days in intensive care. Picture: Getty • PA

By Rory O'Connor

Sooty star Matthew Corbett has revealed he was “close to death” after contracting coronavirus.

The children’s TV star spent 10 days in intensive care with coronavirus.

Matthew has now said it was “touch and go” as he fought the deadly virus in hospital during the pandemic.

The 72-year-old has now left hospital, but says he is still “so weak”.

He is now selling his home and plans to move to a retirement village with his wife.

Sooty star Matthew Corbett ‘nearly died from coronavirus’ after 10 days in intensive care
Sooty star Matthew Corbett ‘nearly died from coronavirus’ after 10 days in intensive care. Picture: Getty

Speaking to Cheshire Life, Matthew explained: “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.”

Artial fibrillation is a condition where the heart beats so fast that the muscle cannot relax.

He added: “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.”

Matthew was born in West Riding of Yorkshire as Peter Corbett but had to change his name in the 60s when joining Equity.

Sooty was originally a toy bought for Matthew by his father Harry from a stall when they were on holiday in Blackpool in 1948.

Harry Corbett with Sooty and sons David, 9, on the left, and Peter (better known as Matthew Corbett), aged 6, on the right.
Harry Corbett with Sooty and sons David, 9, on the left, and Peter (better known as Matthew Corbett), aged 6, on the right. Picture: PA

He started his career by appearing in Doctor Who in 1971 as a character called Jones and was a regular on children's show Rainbow until he left to take over The Sooty Show.

The TV star hosted Sooty from 1976, taking over from his creator father Harry, for 22 years until 1998, when he handed the puppet over to his then co-star Richard Cadell.

In 1996 Matthew sold the rights to Sooty to the Global Rights Development Fun for £1.4 million, equating to £2.3 million today.