Basil Brush is a star with an outstanding ability to entertain and make people of all ages laugh and smile. He’s cheeky, irreverent, charming, naughty, quick-witted, scheming and foxy, but at the same time he’s kind, caring and affectionate!
Basil has celebrated over 50 years in entertainment and The Basil Brush Show on BBC TV has been seen by millions of viewers all over the globe from 1968 through to today. The show was BAFTA nominated and voted best comedy show on TV!
Now, Britain's most lovable fox is back on the road with his Full On Fox tour along with his TV chum Mr Stephen (aka Chris Pizzey). Together they will take you on a journey of laughs, storytelling and song in a brand new specially written ‘live’ stage show packed with fun and excitement.
Andy Howells, a lifelong fan of Basil, recently got a chance to put questions to the cunning Brush.
Basil, you're bringing your Full on Fox Tour to Newport in June. Have you been to Wales before or is this your first time?
I cant wait to get to Wales because after watching Tom Jones on The Voice. I realised what brilliant singers they all are and since my voice has been known to make grown cry... Cry “stop we cant take it any longer” and I sing like a bird, a crow! I think I will be able to learn a lot from the audience when we get them joining in with the songs and our Boom Boom rap song.
I was in Cardiff a number of years ago with my show The Fox Factor; it was so well received I haven't been back for 5 years...BOOM BOOM But it is my first time to Newport and looking forward to seeing my fans and meeting them after the show with our unique meet and greet where members of the audience can meet myself and Mr Stephen and get photos and autographs to tweet and put on Facebook.
What can you tell us about the Full on Fox tour?
Now the Full on Fox tour is called that because when they told me I would be doing over 100 dates I said “that's full on and so the title stuck...” I have teamed up with Mr Stephen aka actor Chris Pizzey, we did several years on the CBBC Basil Brush Show together and we have decided to take our laughter pilgrimage all over the country. We have a huge twenty foot video screen on stage that allows us to go into space, we meet Sherlock Holmes and as we sing our way through an adventure. Children also come on stage to help in space, and of course there's jokes for both kids and grown ups! If you know what I mean! The reaction from all age groups has been brilliant; in fact we have so much laughter in the show, some of it is in the right place.
What has been your funniest experience when touring?
While touring we have had funny moments where the Sat-Nav in our car led us to an open field and we were greeted by a furry fox. He didn't know who I was and we quietly went on our way, but my Rolls Canardly is brilliant. It rolls down the hills and can hardly get up the other side.
I remember watching you on television when I was a small boy, and you look younger now than you did then, have you had any form of plastic surgery? You look incredible for nearly half a century in show business, how do you keep so young and fit?
Any one who thinks I have had a face lift are talking out of their Botox, I look great with my keep fit routine, I work out every morning, work out what I am going to eat for the day, and when I started Yoga last week the instructor asked how flexible I was... I said I couldn't do Thursday but I did lose 35 pounds ... that was the gym membership. But I am not as old as Des O Connor, but I am the same shade of orange.....
What are you looking forward to most about visiting Wales?
I am most looking forward to the hills, the mountains and hopefully a lovely tea shop where I can dunk my ginger nuts in a nice cup of tea and look at the glorious view...
Looking back over your illustrious career what has been your career highlight?
One of my career highlights has to be winning The Weakest Link against the great Biggins... people thought I was daft as a brush, but I was cunning as a fox... I got questions wrong so they didn't think I was too clever... and pulled out the stops in the final.
Do you have a message for all your fans that are coming to see your show in June?
My message to my fans is ...don't miss out on this amazing roller-coaster of a show for all the family....laughter, screaming, and that’s before the show starts...and of course the chance to have our photograph taken with Basil and Mr. Stephen right after the show...and of course ..BOOM BOOM WALES!!
- Catch Basil when he visits Newport Riverfront on Saturday June 6, and join in the mayhem, along with Mr Stephen who will be continually interrupted by naughty uncontrollable Basil! Call 01633 656757 or visit newport.gov.uk/theriverfront for details.
- A version of this Q&A by Andy Howells appeared in The South Wales Argus entertainment supplement The Guide on May 15, 2015.