Interview with Basil Brush

Basil Brush is back at Edinburgh Festival Fringe this August with two shows – one for families, and one very much for the grown-ups. 

Interview with Basil Brush

Could you first introduce yourself to the reader?

People often announce me on stage by saying 'He's a fox who needs no introduction'....So do I need to ? Ha ! Ha ! Boom Boom! Oh alright, I'm Basil Brush, ginger, there's a lots of Scottish on me, the only talking fox on the box, been around for 60 years but I still have my own teeth...In jar by the bed....I'm only little, 18 inches tall, but at least its not winter cos, when you're 18 inches tall and walking in 6 inches of snow it gives a whole new meaning to the phrase 'cold snap' Ha! ha!  Thrilled the festival is in August 

How would you describe your show?

Our show Unleashed and uncut is Graham Norton, meets Have I got news for you, meets Crackerjack! It's for the grown up audience, who want my naughtiness mixed in with wit, humour, and a hint of nostalgia! But defibrillators are on standby for those from my early days in case it's too much for them.  

Why do you want to perform at Edinburgh Festival Fringe?

The fringe is perfect to try stuff out with an audience that is up for a good time, wants to let their hair down, those that still have it, and have come to the fringe to have a laugh!

What differentiates it from other festivals?

It's the biggest creative festival in the world and there is so much for everyone, everywhere at any time of day in any sort of building. Totally unique and it's in one of the best cities in the world – Edinburgh!

What first motivated you to enter the industry? Who were your inspirations?

People say I was born on stage, folks liked it so much my mum kept it in the act. But my inspiration was Terry Thomas… so classy, so suave… so naughty… so charming… sums me up really 'Hellllllooooooooo!' as Terry would say.

How has your background, upbringing and education had an impact on your artistic career? 

At school I was good at woodwork, I used to say I would do that, but couldn't be bothered. I just dreamt of being on stage and entertaining  and having fun with a mister!... leave it.

What is your earliest childhood art memory?

I can’t remember my earliest childhood art because I can’t remember that far back. I'm 60 in human years, imagine what that is in fox years! I am sure it was a squiggle of some sort, I was terrible at drawing because the pens slipped through my paws. So, I just stuck to drawing curtains. But I went to the theatre to watch pantomime and was hooked from the moment the audience got involved. I love audience participation!

If you didn’t have your current job, what would you probably be doing?

If I wasn't an acting fox I'd probably be a bin man, cos we foxes love being around bins… or so you humans think…

Did Covid-19 change the way you create work? Do you approach shows with a different mentality now? 

COVID made me a more flexible fox in terms of doing things online when needed but it made me and other performers realise how much we love performing. And I think the audiences realised how much they miss live shows now that we are back out there.

Describe the last year in 5 words or less?

the last 5 years ...'Up, Down...and bumpsidaisy'  

If you could work with anybody, from any point in history, who would you pick and why?

I would love to work with Morecambe and Wise… two for the price of one and they were perfectionists and comedy genius's  

What advice would you give to someone who wants to take a show up to the fringe?

If you are coming up to the fringe, come to enjoy yourself, let yourself go and embrace the whole experience! There is so much to learn, love and appreciate as well as performing. I sound like a life coach...next bus...the 652 to morningside. 

When and where can people see your show?

We are in the Debating Hall at Gilded Balloon. 12:30pm with our family show and 6:30pm with unleashed and uncut for grown ups!

And where can people find, follow and like you online?

We are online at basilbrush.com

Twitter and Instagram @realbasilbrush 

If they visit celebvm or cameo I can do birthday messages for anyone who would like them as well! BOOM BOOM to you all the ginge is back on the fringe

Header Image Credit: Steve Ullathorne

Author

Tom Inniss

Tom Inniss Voice Team

Tom is the Editor of Voice. He is a politics graduate and holds a masters in journalism, with particular interest in youth political engagement and technology. He is also a mentor to our Voice Contributors, and champions our festivals programme, including the reporter team at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

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