Basil Brush still wows the crowds

You can always tell an established artist of stage and screen - they have that air of confidence and poise that says they've done it all before.And being a puppet doesn't diminish Basil Brush's stage presence one bit.

You can always tell an established artist of stage and screen - they have that air of confidence and poise that says they've done it all before.

And being a puppet doesn't diminish Basil Brush's stage presence one bit. He burst onto the Regent stage amid a puff of smoke as he made his appearance as captain of the good ship Boom Boom, setting sail in search of the golden Jelly Baby.

He was ably assisted by shipmate Skipper To-Da-Loo (Tucker) who did his best to keep up with the rebellious Basil, but it was an unequal feat from the start - this is a celebrity with a whole lot of stage presence.

The show contained something for everybody - it was colourful, noisy and fast-moving for the children, but like many great children's shows that stand the test of time, it also had great parent appeal, laced as it was with songs from the 1970s and there was even an appearance from the 70s hit TV show The Banana Bunch.


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Well worthy of a mention were the D4 Troupe, alias the Crazy Crew, who used their circus training to great effect with the stunning gymnastics cleverly woven into the plot.

Basil himself is something of a legend in his own interval. From his beginnings in 1963, he really rose to fame when the Basil Brush Show first appeared in 1968.

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And Basil was not just a star on screen - among his more memorable feats was to take part in the lap of honour when Ipswich Town beat Arsenal in the FA Cup final in 1978.

Now the irrepressible star has, like other great comedians of his day, made something of a come-back. He has a new TV show and is touring with his one-fox show.

But like all celebrities, Basil knows there is a price to pay for fame - he had a recent 'brush' with the law (well politically correct lobby, actually) when he was accused of racism. Old pro that he is, Basil shrugged off his critics by including it in his act, he quipped: “You have to be careful what you say these days, or you might end up in the newspapers!”

Don't worry Basil, you've got nothing to fear from me, I'm your number one fan!

AMANDA BRODIE

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