Basil Brush

Basil Brush how he looked in the SeventiesOne of my favourite Children’s TV characters was the snappily dressed fox Basil Brush.

I loved the way he laughed at his own jokes – mwahaha-HA-HA boom-boom. I don’t remember whether the jokes were funny, but we always laughed because he did. I think that was the point.

Basil had a helper, a bloke who always took the rap for any mischief that the Brush got into. The helper changed over time and the ones I remember are Mr Roy and Mr John.

According to Wikipedia there were quite a few other helpers, all blokes. Whoever the stooge was used to say ‘shut your bone chute’ to Basil, and Basil used to say ‘shut your cake hole’ back at him. Those two phrases became well-used in our household and many others and can still be heard today.

One thing that I loved was Basil’s little yappy dog. I had one of them myself. It was mechanical and under the fur it was like a robot. I know because I took all the fur off so I could see what was underneath. All it did was yap and sit up on its back legs and it used to drive Basil bananas. And mine drove my mum bananas too, but she was still annoyed when I took the fur off.

Basil Brush updated for a modern audience - cuddlier I thinkBasil is still around, though he’s been updated. And the new stooge is Mr Steve. Apparently Mr Steve got complained about because he was gay-bashed on one show in recent years. And another one about him being racist. Oh dear Basil, your new image may be cuddly but your views are perhaps a bit out of date?

Josie Henley-Einion, author, blogger, Legend in my own Living Room


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