All my sites:
Basil's Home Page.
Like most people of my generation, many of the happiest hours of my childhood were spent watching the TV on a Saturday afternoon. After getting the final results of the football and seeing the inevitable Norwich City victory, it was Rolf on Saturday OK, preceded by the comic genius of the Fox.
Basil started off as a guest on the David Nixon Magic Show, accompanied by Mr. Rodney. Rodney Bewes was thus the straight man to the two greatest comic talents in show biz at the time - Basil and James Bolam. Basil was too much fox for Nixon and soon got his own shot at stardom, now accompanied by Mr. Derek, who would later let the side down badly in Yes Minister, where he was never seen to sport his trademark jumpers.
Derek managed to exert some control over our tweed-wearing hero and on occasion managed to read more than a page of the story. It was, of course, the story that we all tuned in for, but nobody can remember any titles except Buccaneering Basil and Blast off Basil.
It transpires that the song at the end was the same each series with different words, but I for one never noticed at the time. For it was the song that reunited Basil and the current Mr. after the inevitable fallings out each week caused by Basil rustling the bag of jelly babies and offering one during a particularly exciting moment of the tale, Basil unwrapping a toffee noisily and then getting his jaws locked together by it, Basil's nose literally out of joint after getting it tweaked at the end of one more interruption, Basil going Yes, yes , yes every ten seconds and the inevitable appearance of his toy dog that could do backflips, after all of these interruptions the song would be sung and the show would be over all too soon.
Basil's interruptions were probably the main reason for the short tenure of each of the successive Misters and I'm sure I'm not the only one who wished he would keep quiet for once. Then of course, all of a sudden he was gone.
Rumours and sightings have been more common in recent years - he was on Fantasy Football, he's given his comments to the Sun on current affairs, he was so drunk as a guest on This is Your Life that they couldn't show it, but as yet no video of the original series has appeared. It is this video that we need, for surely the debate on who was the best Mister can be second only to who is the best James Bond and only viewing can help us decide.
My money is on Mr. Derek, whose chunky sweaters and comparatively stern demeanour seemed to keep the Deerstalkered One in check to some degree.
The Roy North pairing was a mismatch from the start - Basil was in complete control by now and Roy, looking like a soppy black-haired Peter Noone, let him run riot. No guest was safe from insult during this period and we only got about two lines of the story per show.
Mr. Billy was no better (despite his excellent showing as Danny Taurus on East Enders) and the less said about Mr. Howard the better.
The thing we all want is the show back, but who would be the sidekick? It needs to someone with a bit of form - the current generation would be no match for his non-stop mischief.
Philip Schofield would be a poor man's Mr. Roy. In the absence of his own show, my own suggestion would be Mr. Rolf - a man who can sing and dance and loves animals.
Plus, of course, Basil could run amok with all of the tins of paint and the rollers.“Do you know what it is yet?” “Yes, yes, yes.”
In the meantime, let's hope that the homepage can unite us all and add to the collective consciousness. We've already learned of a Basil Brush album (thanks Bryce - how about taping it so we can add a Boom Boom to the page?) and the book "Basil Learns to Fly", of which a review is promised. Kevin Flick was on the show and met Basil; maybe others will come forward.
Perhaps someone can fill in the words of the song:
Buccaneering Basil, a pirate bold was he, with a ********** upon the seven seas etc. The ********** is the part that I cannot remember. And best of all, maybe someone has that laugh on tape or video - that long, staccato laugh that so enraged Fouldes and company.
I'd like to see Kylie and Michelle Pfieffer guest - they are certainly both a bit foxy.