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Friday, July 30, 1999 Published at 14:24 GMT 15:24 UK

Business: The Company File

Brush flush after £1.7m deal

Basil Brush is set for a £1.7m comeback

Foxy children's TV star Basil Brush is making a comeback after rights to the character changed hands for £1.7m.

The irreverent fox, who regularly drew in 12m viewers in his 1970s heyday, has been sold to animation company SKD Media.

The deal has already sparked interest from the BBC and ITV, with a view to a small screen return for the puppet.

Basil, famous for his catchphrase "Boom! Boom!", will also appear at theme parks, stage shows and on T-Shirts.

21st Century Fox

SKD Media, which also owns rights to Budgie the Little Helicopter and Fuzzy Felt, said Mr Brush will be popping up all over the place when he makes his comeback early next year.

SKD chief executive Mike Heap said: "Buying a character of the calibre of Basil Brush is extremely difficult, so we are very pleased to get him."

Basil will also be trying his paw at the music business, with record deals being lined up with well-known artists.

The rights to the puppet were owned by Boom Boom, a company which made no sales in 1998 and had losses of £55,128.

Former managing director Bill Haslam is moving with his biggest star to help with the relaunch.

Brush with fame

He said he was very excited about Basil Brush's future.

"SKD Media is an excellent company who understand the creative business very well," Mr Haslam said.

"We need the backing of a stronger company than ourselves, and now we've got it."

Basil Brush was axed by the BBC in 1980, and has had only a few cameo roles since.

Boom Boom bought the rights to the character from his creators Ivan Owen and Peter Firmin in 1997, in an unsuccessful bid to make him a star again.

Mr Haslam said he believed Basil would appeal to all age groups, from young children to students and nostalgic baby-boomers.

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