Sooty, Kermit the Frog, Gordon the Gopher, Sweep and Miss Piggy are the nation’s all-time favourite puppets.
Sooty, the loveable British puppet bear who was created by Harry Corbett in 1948 and is now aged 67, has been voted by Britons as their all-time favourite puppet in a new poll out today.
Kermit the Frog, Jim Henson’s most famous muppet, who was created in 1955 and went onto become the star of The Muppet Show which is returning to UK screens on Monday, has been voted into second position.
The youngest puppet to make the top 20 list at aged 30, Gordon the Gopher, has won third place in the list. Gordon first made his TV debut in 1985 when he partnered up with Phillip Schofield on the programme The Broom Cupboard, before both went onto present Going Live.
The research, which surveyed 2,000 British adults, was conducted by Travelodge in a bid to seek the nation’s all-time favourite puppets following huge public interest in the ‘The Travelodgicals’, the puppet characters that feature in the company’s new brand campaign. (‘The Travelodgicals’ represent the little value seeker that lives inside each of us – the part of you that loves finding great value for money.)
Key research findings have revealed that despite the popularity of digital puppetry, Britons love for puppets from yesteryear is very much alive as 13 of the puppets to make the nation’s top 20 all-time favourite puppets originated in the 1950’s and 1960’s.
The research also highlighted that one particular puppeteer has captured Britons hearts. Jim Henson, the founder of the Muppets, has six of his puppets in the list.
Voted into fourth position in the poll is Sooty’s best friend, Sweep. The cheeky grey puppet dog who talks via a loud high pitched squeak has been made famous for his slapstick routines and penchant for bones and sausages.
Former love interest of Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, who starred in a breakout role in the Muppet Show and who is notable for her volatile diva personality, has earned fifth place in the puppet charts.
The mischievous puppet who claims to dislike other puppets and refers to himself as a “fella”, and who also says his most prized procession is his “brush” - the traditional name for a fox’s tail - Basil Brush, ranks in sixth position. A raconteur best known for his catchphrase: “Ha Ha Ha! Boom! Boom”, Basil Brush first featured on children’s and later adult television from 1962 to present day.
Seventh place was awarded to the puppet best known for his voracious appetite and his famous eating phases: “Me want cookie!” “Me eat cookie” and “Om nom nom nom” – Cookie Monster, a puppet on the long running children’s television show, Sesame Street.
The furry red monster (originally known as Baby Monster) with a falsetto voice and who refers to himself in the third person, Elmo has been voted into eighth position. Elmo hosts the last fifteen minute segment on Sesame Street and has also featured on the West Wing, Oprah and was the star of two movies, Elmo in Grouchland and Elmo Saves Christmas.
Andy Pandy, who premiered live on BBC TV in July 1950, is the second oldest puppet to make the listing and takes ninth place in the nation’s all-time favourite puppets poll. Andy, a marionette, lived in a picnic basket with his friends Teddy (who made 17th position in the poll) and ragdoll Looby Loo.
Another one of the most famous puppet duos, Bert and Ernie complete the top ten listing. Both puppets were created in 1969 and starred in shows such as The Muppets and Sesame Street. Bert and Ernie were created to show that even though two people can have totally different characters, they can still be good friends. These two characters are such firm favourites with Britons that even Alfie and Kat Moon from EastEnders named their twin sons Bert and Ernie
Listed below are the nation top 20 all-time favourite puppets:
Kermit the Frog
Gordon the Gopher
Bert and Ernie
Lady Penelope (Thunderbirds)
Butch from Sooty
Teddy (Andy Pandy’s Friend)
Soo (Panda bear – Sooty’s friend)
Bill & Ben (The Flowerpot Men)
Shakila Ahmed, Travelodge spokeswoman said: "We are amazed by the public reaction to the Travelodgicals, the singing puppets who feature in our new television campaign. Since they launched in May this year, we have been inundated with customer enquiries on how they can get hold of the puppets, especially family man, Max, who people think looks like David Cameron. This likeness is a pure co-incidence and was not intended.
“However this feedback clearly demonstrates that we have a huge fascination and great love for puppets which is why we undertook this poll to find the nation’s all-time favourite puppets.”
Corinne Sweet, Psychologist said: “It is no surprise to see traditional golden oldies such as Sooty, Andy Pandy and Kermit the Frog being voted the nation’s favourite puppets, as they are such a major influence on our childhoods and our pre-computer cultures. Puppets evoke feelings of happiness and nostalgia, and they also exaggerate qualities we see in ourselves and in others. Children can 'play act' with them, and grown-ups can express emotions through them, which is why watching puppets helps us to laugh, relax and de-stress.”
For further information please contact:
The Travelodge Press Office
T: 01844 358 703
Notes to editors:
The survey was conducted in October 2015 with a sample of 2,000 British adults.
Summary of the new Travelodge advert:
The advert is set in a Travelodge hotel. The first scene introduces a business customer admiring his new Travelodge room and introduces the idea that all of us have an inner value seeker inside of us - (The Travelodgicals).
The ad then goes on to show different Travelodge customers with their Travelodgical character in different rooms and locations.
Throughout the ad, ‘The Travelodgicals’ celebrate what makes Travelodge the logical choice when staying away from home. Their messages about their Travelodge experiences and what they like about Travelodge which includes: upgraded rooms, comfy new king size beds and amazing value is delivered though an upbeat musical styled song.
The advert culminates in a celebratory chorus from ‘The Travelodgicals’ and ends with the business customer enjoying a good night’s sleep in his upgraded room, on his comfy king size bed. The advert finishes with the new strapline - That’s Travelodgical.
‘The Travelodgicals’ cast includes:
• Business man: Alex
• The family: mum – Sophie, dad – Max and daughter - Lily
• The older couple: husband – Tony and wife: Penny
• The younger couple: boyfriend: Si and girlfriend: Lucy