Basil Brush, the excitable fox of children's television, is to return to British screens after a near 20-year break.
Entertainment Rights, a character merchandising group which bought the Basil Brush rights in 1999, is to produce 26 half-hour Basil Brush shows in conjunction with CBBC, the new name for children's BBC programming. The shows will start in the autumn on CBBC's new digital channel aimed at six to 13-year-olds. They will start on terrestrial television a few weeks later.
Basil Brush shot to fame in the 1960s when the shows attracted audiences of 13m. Famous for its "Boom Boom" catch phrase, Basil Brush used to engage in banter with "Mr Derek", the actor Derek Fowlds, who went on to star in television programmes such as Yes Minister and Heartbeat.
The shows, which will not feature Mr Fowlds, will show Basil as a full-size character rather than a puppet. The programmes will be "modern day sitcoms", which the makers say will allow for "occasional cameos". Entertainment Rights will also be selling a range of merchandise as a result of a licensing deal with toy company Hasbro.
Commenting on the deal, Nick Heap, Entertainment Rights' chief executive, said: "Basil Brush is making his comeback to a whole new generation of children and parents alike. Working with CBBC will ensure that Basil returns in style."Reuse content