Basil Brush is the country’s premier fox entertainer and on Sunday the Kings Theatre in Southsea will ring with his signature catchphrase as part of Basil’s national tour.
Described by the fox himself as a ‘pilgrimage of laughter’, the show is filled with audience participation, prizes, and 4D effects bound to go boom (boom).
Basil will be joined by his current companion Mr Stephen for a variety of sketches and skits.
‘I just want to be out there entertaining the boys and girls of today and their mums and dads and grandads and great-grandads with my great family humour,’ says Basil.
‘You don’t need to reinvent the wheel. For example – what type of deer has no eyes? No idea! Ahahaha BOOM BOOM!
‘You see, kids love that, and mums and dads say “I’ve heard that one before” but there’s also humour on a completely different level for the adults.
‘That is the key to why I’m still going – families can sit down and all have a jolly good time. Parents won’t be looking at each other thinking “I don’t like the number of clothes that girl’s wearing”.’
Basil, of unknown age, has been dogged with surgery rumours throughout his career – except when it comes to dental work. But has he gone under the knife in an attempt to stay relevant?
‘Anyone who says I’ve had a facelift is talking out of their botox,’ says Basil. ‘I’m one of these natural oranges, you see – unlike Anne Robinson.
I’d be a great Puck. And if it was in Regent’s Park, I’d be a perfect Puck in the parkBasil on tackling Shakespeare
‘My tip to looking young is to grow a layer of fur. That’s why grannies grow moustaches, to hide the cracks.’
Whatever he’s doing, it’s working – Basil is a stone cold fox with women.
‘The ladies are all after my brush,’ he says.
‘After the show, we get to meet everybody in the foyer and the mothers get terribly excited about my brush.
‘And the kids like to grab me hooter, just to shut me up really. But it really is lovely to meet everyone after the show and get a selfie with them.’
Basil is no stranger to treading the boards – he is a regular fixture of the pantomime circuit.
He has worked with all the greats, including Sheila Ferguson from the Three Degrees.
‘I love to do panto because I get to play a character and be an actor darling.
‘Sheila was teaching me to riff and yogi and get down with the kids geezer ’cause I is orange man.’
There are still some more classical roles Basil would like to tackle.
‘I’d be a great Puck. And if it was in Regent’s Park, I’d be a perfect Puck in the park. I mean, I wouldn’t want to display my Bottom, I don’t think that’s the right role for me.’
And despite being a perennial fixture on television for decades, there is still one more show he would like to host before he ‘retires to a beach in Puerto Banús’.
‘One day I would love to host Have I Got News For You, then I can retire happily. Plus I can sit behind a desk – I don’t want people looking at my little legs.’
He adds: ‘When you are only 18 inches tall you have to be careful, because when you walk through snow that’s six inches deep it gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “cold snap”.’
With such short legs, Basil’s in trouble – because David Cameron and the Tories want to amend the foxhunting laws.
‘I knew you were going to bring up the F-word,’ he says. ‘I leave all this to the grown-ups. They should know better.
‘All I can say is that the last time I was chased by men in red coats is when I didn’t pay my bill at Butlins. But I chase foxes all the time – Kylie Minogue, her brother Dannii. Kylie often stops to give me a kiss.’
Kylie might need a mint, because Basil eats food out of bins – a common addiction in the fox community.
‘Only Her Majesty’s,’ he hastily adds. ‘They are teribly posh – good Chinese out there, I can tell you that.’
Basil has sympathy for all bin rummaging foxes.
‘All they are trying to do is get a nice bit of chicken nugget or KFC – and it does smell jolly nice.’
That isn’t the only skeleton in the fox’s closet. Fame comes with a price – and in Basil’s case, it is a man who can get a bit touchy-feely with him.
‘I don’t know what you’re talking about – I’m a real-life talking fox,’ says Basil.
‘Often I get a bit perturbed because one man is always stood very close to me, but I haven’t the faintest clue what he does.’
Basil Brush is at the Kings Theatre, Southsea on Sunday at 2.30pm. Tickets: from £12, visit kingsportsmouth.co.uk to book.