In this interview series, I am talking to people who have inspired me at different stages of my life.
People say you shouldn’t meet your heroes because they’re sure to disappoint you. Yet there will be people…or in this case foxes..who surpass any expectations you may have had.
I grew up with Basil Brush on TV. Loud, fun, naughty and not afraid to speak his mind. I never thought I would get to interview the posh-sounding fox, best known for his catchphrase “Boom! Boom!”.
Recently seen cuddling up to my friend Stephen Bailey in a recent episode of Takeshi’s Castle. Basil Brush was on form; chatty, naughty and lovely. It has to be one of the most fun interviews ever. I loved, loved, loved this interview.
Interview with Basil Brush
You were due on tour this year, but unfortunately, like many stars working in entertainment, theatres aren’t open. Can you let me know a little more about what you have been up to recently?
This Furloughed fox is busier than ever. I have my time, which I have been dedicating to charities.
I have been doing lots of charity work including sending messages to people in hospital. I have been working to help raise £100k for Marie Curie. I have been singing songs to people in care homes. I also take part in the Tunbridge Wells flag national mascot training sessions on Sundays.
Basil Brush is to appear at The Drive-In Club, 4th & 5th July, Brent Cross
Basil Brush is excited to appear at London’s biggest outside entertainment experience @thedriveinclub on the 4th & 5th of July at Brent Cross Shopping Centre, London. Head to http://thedrivein.club for more information #TheDriveInClubUK BOOM!BOOM!
Audiences will be in their cars, beeping horns and flashing their headlights, or flash. Or Waggle (be careful of what you waggle).
I am excited to be in front of an audience. As it’s in Brent Cross, I am on for 45mins and people can shop afterwards for some retail therapy.
It’s also Glastonbury week which I have been doing for the last 4 years. I go a week before the public starts to have a look around as I perform every day. Festivals have been furloughed right now, but I have been filming for online Glastonbury. Basil Brush has been confirmed for 2021.
I also do a monthly online quiz, which you will be able to see on the 25th of June. I was on both The Chase and The Weakest Link – which I won.
What was it like working alongside Stephen Bailey on Takeshi’s Castle? He’s a personal friend of mine.
It was hilarious. I was almost speechless. It was lovely to be with him and it was mad as hatters. What you see on the screen is totally bonkers and it suited the fox. Stephen was an absolute delight. A very funny young man.
What are your favourite memories of The Basil Brush Show?
Like the Doctor, I keep coming back. A bezel brush is all open for debate.
We sadly waved goodbye to Derek, who worked with me back then. The Basil Brush Show was all so new and innovative. There were not so many options then; only 4 TV channels. The Basil Brush Show appeared before Doctor Who. In front of a live studio audience; it is so magical when you do it the first time.
I was a furloughed fox in the ’90s. With a new show in the 2000s. I presented CBBC for 13 years, and also was a presenter on Blue Peter. Kids now will recognise me from YouTube, but lots of generations see the shows. People are all children at heart. Such wonderful memories. I am proud of the work we did. The BBC have been digitising content to bring it back on screen.
You are celebrating 50 years in ShowBizz but you don’t look a day older. What’s your secret to looking great?
Grow fur to cover the cracks on your face.
Put lettuce on your head and tomatoes. It will remember you of your salad days. BOOM BOOM!
Reincarnate yourself like the doctor. I have refurbished to look even younger.
You are very proud of your bush. Is it still insured for £1 million?
What a scandal. 10million pounds! It’s difficult to get insurance for foxes.
I keep it in good condition. In the future, I might be able to use AI to get it mechanically engineered.
“Get a new combine harvester” – Brush sings a lot to me in this interview. Brilliant fun.
The size of your brush means everything. OK, I was in fits of giggles at this stage of the interview.
It really is a bright brush.
What is your favourite career memory to date?
Too many to mention. We started talking through a number of experiences which came to mind. Hosting at the Albert hall and meeting the Queen.
Performing for Harry and Wills at Buckingham Palace who were 5 and 7 years old. I met the Queen Mother. Lady Diana asked if I would like a cup of tea and digestives. It was such a special experience as it was a private party for them both.
I also got to go backstage at the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury. Not many people are allowed backstage.
As well as being invited to No.10 Downing Street, where I got to meet Dawn French. Gordon Brown hosted a tea party with sick children. I was invited to take part and sing carols.
I was lucky as a fox to be invited by Simon Cowell to the Shooting Star Hospice Chase. It is inspiring and keeps me going. Bringing smiles to their faces. I will never forget those days meeting people in the face of difficulties.
What is your favourite place when being in the city (London)?
I can go on for hours. I am an Urbane Fox. I like a 5-star hotel if you don’t mind. I like my creature comforts, not roughing it in a fox hole.
A City fox does know how to rummage in the best bins. The takeaway bins at Windsor and the bins palace are divine. I like pantomiming in Windsor.
“Wherever I lay my brush that’s my home…”Another song.
What is your top tip for living your best life?
Don’t look too far ahead. We don’t know what is going to happen.
“Always look on the bright side of life”. A brilliant song from The Life of Brian. We have lots of singing in this interview.
Always give people the benefit of the doubt. Never judge people.
I am a non-conflict fox.
People are always smiling in hospices. “Bring me sunshine, bring me laughter – give me happy. Listen to the lyrics…bring me fun, bring me sunshine…” More delightful singing.
I am hoping people will come out of this better people. Life is very simple.
It is a difficult time for performers. Theatres are not going to open up very quickly, which doesn’t pay the bills
2021 will be very busy.
Don’t judge anybody.
What are you planning to do next?
I will continue to do Showbiz, which has been my life. I was born on stage, and my mother kept it in the act.
I get a buzz on stage, and now there is a new generation of kids who watch me on YouTube.
I host a grown-up show: Basil Brush Unleashed. In Edinburgh last year, it was a huge hit. 20-year-olds who grew up with me in the 2000s want to reminisce. Those who were born in the 70s like to see The Basil Brush Show.
There is Innuendo with a little bit of naughtiness. My favourite! It’s Lighthearted fun.
Next year will be busy, with lots of festivals.
It is good to slow down. Reassess where we are. We are finally saying hello to the binmen. How are you today…?