Boom! Boom! Approaching 60, Basil Brush is coming back to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe
Let us know what you think and join the conversation at the bottom of this article
The much-loved puppet marks the milestone with a change of venue for 2022 as he heads to Gilded Balloon with not one, but two brand new shows, making him the hardest-working fox in show business.
“I can't tell you how excited I am to be coming back to Edinburgh,” he says. “We had out first visit in 2019 when we came up for the whole Festival, then did a fleeting visit last year, just a single night, but this year I'm tripley excited because I now know what I was missing. I can't wait to come back up with Mr Martin to sample a full on Festival again.”
Basil Brush: Unleashed and Uncut, a brand-new, risque, boisterous and downright daft post-watershed show for adults, will run at the Gilded Balloon's Debating Hall, at 6.30pm, from August 3-28, while Basil Brush’s Family Fun Show is at the same venue earlier in the day at 12.30pm, from August 3-22. Tickets for both shows are on sale now here.
However, while his adult show might be packed with old-school, not always politically correct belly laughs, Basil promises it's never blue.“The Unleashed show is a chat show with lots of new jokes... actually I'll be recycling old jokes in the hope that people have forgotten them. People think it's going to a blue show but it's not. We take you back with a bit of innuendo, like pantomime meets Graham Norton meets Have I Got News For You?”
If Basil's longevity proves one thing, it's that nostalgia is a powerful force. The origins of Britain's best known fox date back to the Sixties. An icon of children's telly, the original glove puppet was designed by Peter Firmin and voiced by Ivan Owen until his death in 2000.
Basil's screen debut came on ITV in 1962 in The Three Scampies and by the mid-60s he had become the support act for magician David Nixon.
He landed his own BBC series in 1968, which ran for 12 years until 1980, accompanied by various famous side-kicks including Rodney Bewes of Likely Lads fame (Mr Rodney), Derek Fowlds of Yes Minister fame (as Mr Derek) and actor/singer Roy North (Mr Roy).
The Basil Brush Show returned to TV screens in 2002, running until 2007.
Always in demand, Basil even joined the Evening News editorial team for a day in 2019 when he regressed hardened journalists to their 12-year-old selves.
“I'm rather proud of all the different generations who say, 'I grew up with Basil Brush'. There will be folks in the audience who grew up with me on CBBC in the Noughties, those who need defibrillators who grew up with me and Mr Roy in the Seventies, and the lost generation of the Eighties and the Nineties who claim they grew up with Basil Brush even though I wasn't on the television then - and we entertain them all.”
Basil himself, of course, is ageless.
“Any one who says I've had a face-lift is talking Botox,” he laughs, adding a much anticipated, “Boom! Boom!”