Basil Brush was my childhood - and I can't wait to see the ginger punk this summer - Susan Dalgety
and live on Freeview channel 276
The ginger fox headlines his own show at the Gilded Balloon, adding a touch of class to this year’s proceedings.
I grew up with Basil. His slightly manic cackle, usually at his own his jokes, punctuated my childhood. Even as I turned my attention to David Bowie, I kept a place in my heart for the mangy puppet, sorry top comedian.
I would rush to the small screen in the corner of our living room whenever I heard his grating voice, and his early evening Saturday night show attracted huge audiences.
My husband is less keen on the prospect of seeing Basil in the flesh. “Mmm, I’m not sure I want to pay to see him,” he said, dismissing my eager suggestion we buy tickets.
“I never found him funny,” he added, exposing a side of him I had never guessed at. How could he not find Basil Brush hilarious? “He’s a genius,” I squeaked.
“Always thought he was a bit of a Tory bloke in a golf club bar,” he responded, before turning back to his smartphone.
I was taken aback at this. Basil Brush an old-school Tory? Surely not, but the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. Basil wears tweed and a cravat. His schtick is to sneer at people, in particular the vagaries of modern life.
He was even once under investigation for hate crime. He was reported to Northamptonshire police in 2008 for comments he made about a gypsy character on his BBC kids show. Perhaps my husband was right after all. Could my childhood hero be a right-wing bigot in fox’s clothing?
I prefer to think of Basil as a punk, an anarchist even, poking fun at everything and everyone while winking outrageously. The best comedy is always edgy and Basil is up there with Spitting Image.
Or as he told the Evening News’s entertainment editor, Liam Rudden, last week, “We take you back with a bit of innuendo, like pantomime meets Graham Norton meets Have I Got News For You?”
There’s only one thing to say to that: Boom, Boom!