Boom! Boom! Approaching 60, Basil Brush is coming back to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

H​e's a National Treasure, 18 inches tall and has entertained generations since making his TV debut in 1963 and, this August, he’s set to score a hat-trick of Edinburgh Festivals as he returns to the Fringe, yes, Basil Brush is back. ​

By Liam Rudden
Wednesday, 6th April 2022, 4:55 am
Basil Brush
Basil Brush

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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.”

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Mr Martin and Basil Brush in action

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 sh​ow ​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?”

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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 Brush with Mr Martin

​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 the​m 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​!​ ​B​oom​!”

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