Basil Brush is a fox, best known as a British television character aimed at children. He is primarily portrayed by a glove puppet (see picture) but has also been depicted in animated cartoon shorts and comic strips. The character has featured on children's (and later adult) television from the 1960s to the present day.
A mischievous character, Basil Brush is best known for his catch phrase "Boom! Boom!", used after something he finds funny, and also for speaking in a "posh" accent and manner, referring to himself as a "fella". The character claims to dislike puppets, and says his most prized possession is his "brush", this being the traditional name for a fox's tail.
Basil Brush was originally created in 1963 by Peter Firmin for The Three Scampies children's show, but his main popularity was achieved due to appearances on "The Nixon Line" with magician David Nixon and subsequently The Basil Brush Show, which premiered in 1968. Basil was for many years operated and voiced by the publicity-shy actor Ivan Owen, who died in 2000.
Throughout the 12-year run of the show, Basil was always accompanied by an actor, initially Rodney Bewes aka Mr Rodney better known as one half of The Likely Lads. Bewes was replaced by Mr Derek Derek Fowlds, later to appear in Yes Minister and Heartbeat who was the stooge for Basil's quips between 1969 and 1973. The subsequent presenters were Mr Roy (Roy North, 1973-1977), Mr Howard (Howard Williams, 1977-1979), and Mr Billy (Billy Boyle, 1979-1980). All of the scripts during this period, including songs and the infamous weekly stories, were written by George Frederick Martin, who was also known as The Casual Comedian. After the TV series finished, Howard Williams returned to tour with Basil in his stage act. Basil Brush BOOM BOOM! Basil was in three more shows in the 1980s: the educational programme Let's Read... With Basil Brush (ITV, 1982-1983), Crackerjack (BBC), and Basil's Joke Machine (ITV, 1986).
Basil also came on The Weakest Link in 2006.
Basil recorded two albums (both with the same title), Boom! Boom! It's Basil Brush in 1970 and 1977. His adventures also appeared on the pages of TV Comic during the peak of his popularit.